B.C. Land Matching Program Brings Opportunities for New Farmers

Posted by Michalina Hunter on April 26, 2019

B.C. Land Matching Program Press Release

Our Okanagan Land Matcher Tessa had an exciting day as Minister of Agriculture Lana Popham visited Alpine Roots Farm, matched to a property in Kelowna through the B.C. Land Matching Program. Minister Popham was there to celebrate what we’ve been up to over the past year, and to announce another year of funding for the program! A huge thank you to the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture for helping us support new entrants and farmland owners across B.C., as well as to our other amazing funders, Columbia Basin Trust, Cowichan Valley Regional District, Metro Vancouver, Vancity, and Regional District of North Okanagan.

Castanet came out with a video crew to catch some footage of the announcement and check out farmer Eion’s soon-to-be-flourishing operation. Thank you to Eion and landowner Anne for sharing your experiences with the B.C. Land Matching Program – we’re so glad we could support your vision and bring you together, and we look forward to seeing Eion’s farm grow over the season!

Check out an excerpt from the press release below from the Province of British Columbia:

New and young farmers throughout B.C. are seeing results and getting agricultural land into production, thanks to the support of regional land matchers and the B.C. Land Matching Program, delivered by Young Agrarians.

“The challenge for young and new farmers entering the agricultural industry is acquiring affordable farmland that they can farm,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture. “Since expanding the B.C. Land Matching Program last summer, we’ve seen successful matches throughout the province, ensuring more B.C. farmland is in production and helping secure our farming industry and food security for future generations.”

After launching as a pilot in Metro Vancouver in 2016, the program expanded across southern B.C. in July 2018. Since 2018, the B.C. Land Matching Program has helped 19 new farmers and farming families connect with landowners in the province to sign farming agreements, with a total of 26.71 hectares (66 acres) brought into, or maintained in, agricultural production. The Province has committed $375,000 in funding to build on the success of the program for the 2019-20 fiscal year.

Land matchers assigned to Vancouver Island, Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, the Okanagan and Columbia Basin have been working closely with farmers, landowners, local governments and agricultural organizations to help facilitate agreements between farmers and land owners.

Tucked away between orchards and wineries overlooking Powers Creek in West Kelowna, Popham visited Alpine Roots Farm to meet with farmer Eoin Carey and landowners John and Anne Whittall, as well as their land matcher Tessa Wetherill, for a tour of their property. She announced the results of the B.C. Land Matching Program there, as well as additional funding for the program for 2019-20.

Read the rest of the press release here.

Are you looking for farmland to start or grow your farm business? Do you have farmland that you’d like to see in production? Learn more about the B.C. Land Matching Program at youngagrarians.org/land, and reach out to land@youngagrarians.org!

The B.C. Land Matching Program is funded provincially by the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture. Funding is also provided to support regional programming by: Columbia Basin TrustCowichan Valley Regional District, Metro VancouverVancity, and Regional District of North Okanagan.