The first round of grants from BC Hydro's Site C agricultural compensation fund have been awarded.
The following groups and projects were awarded funding:
B.C. Grain Producers Association – $100,000 to research the viability of crops in the Peace Region. This project supports the development of varieties of grains and oilseeds suitable to growing conditions in the Peace Region.
Northern Environmental Action Team – $27,112 for a Northern Cohort Extension and Outreach Program that provides educational opportunities for alternative agricultural production in the Peace Region.
RDR Ventures Ltd. – $25,209 to expand the irrigation system at Rainey Ranch. Expansion will allow water to reach all areas of the ranch, which will improve grazing and allow the ranch to raise a greater number of livestock.
Ardills Ranch Ltd. – $25,000 to build a wildlife control fence. This project will enable the ranch to keep and protect cattle feed; thus allowing them to feed more stock and increase the production of locally raised beef.
Blackbird Environmental Ltd. – $24,140 to establish a drone field school program to provide agricultural producers with basic drone skill training. Drone systems can be used in a wide range of agricultural applications for monitoring their fields, such as informing producers where problem areas are and where additional management techniques may be required.
Don Titus Parent Advisory Council in Chetwynd – $5,625 to implement an agricultural education program for students in Kindergarten to Grade 7, designed to generate interest in the agriculture industry. Students will be exposed to the unique experience of gardening in northern B.C.
Peace River Regional 4-H Council – $2,000 to provide an opportunity for youth communication and leadership training in agriculture-related projects. The training is focused around the following main themes: raising livestock and livestock projects, food production and preparation, pasture management and practices and climate change topics.
Applications are being accepted for 2020, with up to $290,000 in funding available to be distributed.
The program is open to local farmers, co-operatives, non-profit farm groups, industry associations, and educational institutions conducting research in the region. New agricultural industry entrants and young agricultural operators can also apply.
The Northern Development Initiative Trust is administering the $20-million fund on behalf of BC Hydro and the Peace Agricultural Compensation Fund Board. The Trust says its goal is to preserve the fund's initial $20 million investment by allocating investment returns for grants for the first five years.
Applicants can apply for up to 100% of a project's budget, up to a maximum of $250,000.
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