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B.C. Land Matching Program


The B.C. Land Matching Program (BCLMP) provides land matching and business support services to new farmers looking for land to farm, as well as landowners interested in finding someone to farm their land. The benefits of land matching are hands-on, personalized support services to new farmers and landowners to better understand regulations, evaluate opportunities, access resources, and ultimately find a land match partner. The program is delivered by Young Agrarians and addresses the significant barrier to land access for those seeking to enter the B.C. agriculture industry.

The B.C. Land Matching Program provides:

  • An online and searchable inventory of B.C. land opportunities
  • Personalized and regionally based matchmaking services for new farmers and landowners, including referrals to business and technical support services
  • Educational events and resources to increase knowledge and facilitate matches between new farmers and landowners.

Who can participate in the B.C. Land Matching Program?

  • New farmers seeking land to set up their agricultural business
  • Landowners looking for someone to farm their land

Young Agrarians Land Matcher Services:

    • Assist Landowners to list their land on the Young Agrarians digital Resource U-Map and evaluate land opportunities for agricultural viability;
    • Support young and new farmer readiness with business plan assessment and connections to resources, extension information, and agricultural services where available;
    • Provide hands-on, personalized matchmaking to support Land Seekers to find the most suitable land opportunity for their farm project;
    • Support Landowners to find the most suitable farmer(s) for their land opportunity;
    • Facilitate introductions, site visits, and negotiations between Land Seekers and Land Owners;
    • Where a match is identified, support the creation of a legally binding agreement between parties;
    • Follow-up to ensure a good land match.

    Application Instructions:

    Contact the Young Agrarians Land Matcher in your region:

    Land Matcher – Metro Vancouver & Fraser Valley
    Ashlee Brillert: ashlee@youngagrarians.org

    Land Matcher – Cowichan Valley & Vancouver Island
    Azja Jones Martin: azja@youngagrarians.org

    Land Matcher – Okanagan Central-North
    Tessa Wetherill: tessa@youngagrarians.org

    Land Matcher – Columbia Basin
    Hailey Troock: hailey@youngagrarians.org

    Land Matcher – Central & North
    Jolene Swain: jolene@youngagrarians.org

    BC Land Program Manager & Land Matcher – Metro Vancouver & Fraser Valley
    Darcy Smith: land@youngagrarians.org

    If you are outside of one of the regions currently serviced by our Land Matchers, please reach out to land@youngagrarians.org – we want to hear from you! Someone will be in touch with other ways we can support your land access needs.


    THE YOUNG AGRARIANS LAND MATCHING TEAM

     

    Darcy Smith Land Matcher Metro Vancouver Fraser Valley

    Land Program Manager & Land Matcher – Metro Vancouver & Fraser Valley

    Darcy Smith
    land@youngagrarians.org
    Darcy Smith was raised with her hands in the dirt sowing seeds and harvesting backyard veggies. With a background in communications, this farm enthusiast found her path when she started writing about and working with farmers. Darcy is as passionate about plants as she is about words, and a brief stint as an urban farmer drove her to focus on projects that empower new farmers with much-needed resources. She feels very fortunate to have spent the last two years growing the YA Land Matching Pilot in the Metro Vancouver region, spending her days as a farm matchmaker connecting farmers and landowners. Darcy is thrilled to see the B.C. Land Matching Program grow to other regions, and can’t wait to see many more landowners and farmers connected across B.C. In addition to her role with Young Agrarians, Darcy edits the BC Organic Grower, a quarterly magazine dedicated to showcasing organic farmers across B.C.

    Ashlee Brillert

    Land Matcher – Metro Vancouver & Fraser Valley

    Ashlee Brillert
    ashlee@youngagrarians.org
    Ashlee was born and raised in Ontario, and moved out to beautiful British Columbia five years ago. She is passionate about local food security, food waste issues, regenerative farming practices, and building strong farming communities. With her experience as a landscaper, a greenhouse worker, and having some post-secondary education in Environmental Studies, farming seemed like the next logical step. Her passion for farming quickly grew, and since her first farming season she’s never looked back. Ashlee has been farming full-time for the last four seasons, and now runs a small market garden in Langley under the name Inner Peas Market Garden. She joined the B.C. Land Matching Program in June 2019 as our Metro Vancouver Land Matcher, and is ready to apply her practical skills towards helping to facilitate solid matches between farmers and land owners. Farmer Ashlee is outstanding in her field, and can’t wait to connect with you!

     

    Azja Jones Martin Land Matcher Cowichan Valley

    Land Matcher – Cowichan Valley & Vancouver Island

    Azja Jones Martin
    azja@youngagrarians.org
    Azja (pronounced Asia) Jones Martin is co-founder of Little Mountain Farm, a CSA business which produces naturally grown veggies for about 70 families in the Victoria area. Starting from raw hay field, Azja has run the farm both in partnership and independently, and understands the complexity of navigating new farm development! Now in year five, the Saanich based business is growing to produce in Cobble Hill as well. With the invaluable support of awesome fellow farmers who are keeping the vegetables growing, Azja is excited to now have the capacity to help connect other farmers with secure farm leases through the Young Agrarians B.C. Land Matching Program in the Cowichan Valley. She is passionate about helping maximize the potential of our beautiful farmland and doing what she can to help other new and young farmers establish businesses that are financially, emotionally and environmentally sustainable.

    Tessa Wetherill Land Matcher Okanagan

    Land Matcher – Central / North Okanagan

    Tessa Wetherill
    tessa@youngagarians.org
    Tessa Wetherill has been farming full-time and with all her heart for 11 years, first in an urban context in Vancouver and for the last 5 years in the North Okanagan. This season she is growing pure joy in the form of cut flowers on unceded Syilx territory in Vernon, B.C. She loves all the things that grow; plants, people, and communities and what really lights her up are relationships and collaborations that form strong, diverse human ecosystems. She is so excited to step into the new role of Land Matcher Okanagan with the Young Agrarians and support the growth of this vital network.

    Hailey Troock

    Land Matcher – Columbia Basin

    Hailey Troock
    hailey@youngagrarians.org
    Hailey Troock grew up in the small agricultural community of Oyama, located in the Okanagan. Now based in the Columbia Basin region, she spends her time connecting farmers, landowners, and allies in the region. Hailey has a professional background in public policy, bilateral negotiation, project administration and business support and has enjoyed using these skills within the B.C. Land Matching Program to help local communities promote and strengthen sustainable and sovereign local food systems. When not working with Young Agrarians, Hailey can be found camping, snowboarding, taking pictures, gardening, making music and working on her side hustle in E-Commerce consultancy and training. Hailey currently resides north of Nelson.

    Jolene photo

    Land Matcher – Central & North

    Jolene Swain
    jolene@youngagrarians.org

    Jolene Swain is best found out in the field. Equipped with a Masters in Biology, and a zeal and curiosity for the natural world, she has roamed extensively throughout BC, Alberta and the Yukon. Her field work has ranged from studying pikas and plants in the alpine tundra around Kluane Lake, to biodiversity surveys in the boreal forest, to research on caterpillars and climate change in the organic orchards of the Similkameen Valley. Her hands’ desire to spend more time in the dirt led her feet towards WoodGrain Farm, a wilderness farmstead in the Kispiox Valley, north of Hazelton in the unceded lands of the Gitxsan First Nation. Here she has spent the last four seasons growing organic vegetables for two local farmers’ markets, an increasing array of seed crops available through the B.C. Eco Seed Co-op, and helping get the hay in for the milk cow and small flock of sheep. Jolene loves visiting diverse farms and farmers throughout the province through her off-farm work as an organic verification officer, and looks forward to connecting aspiring and established farmers and landowners alike, across Northern and Central BC, through her new role as a Land Matcher for the B.C. Land Matching Program.

    HISTORY OF YOUNG AGRARIANS LAND ACCESS PROGRAMMING

    The Young Agrarians land access program journey began in 2012 with mapping resources for farming online through theYoung Agrarians UMAP, creating a B.C. Land Access Guide, and updating the excellent agricultural lease and licence templates from FarmFolk CityFolk and The Land Conservancy of B.C. by adding additional agricultural terms and plain English sidebars. These resources have been shared with thousands of farmers and landowners online and through Land Linking workshops across Southern B.C., which bring people with land together with people looking for land to explore what it means to share land to grow food.

    Our resources have supported many on their journey to find land, but we wanted to do more – there was a need for hands on direct support, especially for folk entering into land sharing agreements. Inspired by Quebec’s Banque de Terres (Land Bank program), Young Agrarians launched our Land Matching Pilot in 2016. It has been really exciting to work alongside this Quebec based organization to grow our own Land Matching Program in B.C. Banque de Terres has recently been rebranded as ARTERRE (which translates to our heart, our land) and has expanded significantly across Quebec to over 50 counties operating as a program of Quebec’s Reference Centre for Agriculture and Agri-Food: Le Craaq! We hope to continue following in their footsteps and supporting more and more farmland owners and seekers on their journey towards feeding their communities and building relationships with each other, through comprehensive land extension supports.


    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: The Bullitt Foundation, Columbia Basin Trust, Cowichan Valley Regional District, Metro Vancouver, Township of Langley and the City of Surrey. Thank you to Cowichan Green Community for in-kind program support. 

    Thank you as well to the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia and Vancity for supporting the program in pilot phase in the Metro Vancouver / Fraser Valley regions in 2016-2017.