B.C. Land Matching Program

The B.C. Land Matching Program (BCLMP) provides personalized land matching and business support services to farmers looking for land to start or expand their farm, and landholders interested in finding someone to farm their land. The advantage of working with a Land Matcher is free hands-on support to understand regulations, evaluate opportunities, access resources, and ultimately find a land match.

The program is delivered by Young Agrarians (YA) and addresses the high cost of land as a significant barrier for those seeking to enter the B.C. agriculture industry. There is no cost to participate, and our services are available to farmers and landholders of all ages across B.C. 

The BCLMP provides:

  • An online and searchable inventory of B.C. land opportunities
  • Personalized, regional matchmaking services for farmers and landholders, including support to develop land use agreements
  • Referrals to business and technical support services
  • Educational events and resources to increase knowledge and facilitate matches between new farmers and landholders

Who can participate in the BCLMP?

  • Farmers seeking land to start or expand their agricultural business
  • Landholders looking for someone to farm their land
  • Farmers and farmland holders who matched independently and want support to develop agreements

The B.C. Land Matching Program is funded by the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia under the Sustainable Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative, with additional support from Columbia Basin Trust, Bullitt Foundation, Cowichan Valley Regional District, and the Real Estate Foundation of BC.


WHAT TO EXPECT

 

  1. CONNECT: Reach out to a land matcher by email or phone. They will reply to set up a phone call to learn more about your vision and needs.
    • Landholders: be ready with information about your land, expectations from a land match, and vision. Land matchers will help you evaluate your land for agricultural viability.
    • Farmers: be ready to discuss your business model and provide or develop a business plan with our support as part of your land search.
  2. REGISTER: Land matchers will follow up with a site visit for landholders, or further meetings with farmers, to register you for the program. Depending on your location, land matchers may connect remotely.
    • Once registered, land matchers will help you list yourself in our digital inventory U-MAP and post land opportunity/land seeker blogs.
    • Land matchers will help farmers develop or refine your business plan to get you ready to access land.
    • If you have questions or need resources/advisors in your region, land matchers can provide information and referrals at any point in the matching process.
    • *Please note that timelines vary for all participants and matches, depending on your needs and the availability of farmers/land.
  3. GET MATCHED: Land matchers will provide hands-on, personalized matchmaking to make introductions and help landholders and land seekers find the most suitable match for their vision and needs.
  4. DEVELOP AGREEMENT: Once you’ve found a match, or if you meet someone independently of the BCLMP, land matchers will facilitate negotiations and help develop a land use agreement.
    • A written agreement is an essential part of a successful land match.
    • Land matchers will work with you and your land match partner to help you agree on the terms of your agreement, and will provide a lawyer-reviewed agreement.

We’re always here for you. Once you’ve been matched and your agreement is signed, land matchers are available to help with additional resources and referrals, or to answer any questions you may have about processes related to your land access needs.


SEE WHO WE’VE MATCHED

The BCLMP supports farmers of all sizes and production types, from small-scale market gardens to ranches that cover thousands of acres. We’ve made 296 matches on more than 11,800 acres to date! Read about some of the farmers and landholders we’ve helped, then get in touch to see how we can help you.

Photo Credit: Jete Devisser urbanfigphotography.com

NATURALLY GOOD VIBES, LANGLEY: Kristen is growing vegetables and keeping bees on half an acre of land on a property in Langley. A graduate of KPU’s Farm School program, Kristen has two seasons running her farm business under her belt and is gearing up for year three. She leases land from Irene, who also farms, and the two are thrilled to be on this farming journey together. Read more about this match on the YA blog!

I still can’t believe it’s real! Developing an agreement was such a foreign thing that I would not have known what to do, and it would’ve been such a shame to miss out on such a great opportunity. The Land Matcher made this experience really wonderful. It was so amazing to sign the lease on Friday and spend all of Monday digging up grass and weeds.” – Kristen, farmer

PRAVIN DHALIWAL, OKANAGAN: Pravin is a budding viticulturist from a family of orchardists,and was ready to start his own farm operation. He was matched to Tony, a retired apple orchardist who had been looking for someone to farm his 18 acres in Summerland. Pravin spent last year readying the land to plant, and vines are now in the ground! Read more about this match on the YA blog!

“Working with the BCLMP was very smooth, professional and pleasant. Fantastic. I appreciated being able to quickly find a farmer to lease my land, which was important to me.” – Tony, landholder

DIGABLE ROOTS, VANCOUVER ISLAND: Digable Roots is a farm and food cart operated by Callum, with the goal of bringing his community a full-circle farm to fork experience. He is making his farm dream a reality on 2.5 acres of leased land that he was matched to in the Cowichan Valley, where he grows vegetables and grain, as well as raise ducks. Read more about this match on the YA blog!

“I as a young farmer today face the reality that land is not at a price that I could afford. Young Agrarians made my dreams of starting a farm possible. The BCLMP is encouraging, inspiring and helpful in many different aspects of farming. The Land Matcher was with me every step of the way and made finding land easy and approachable. This program will truly change Canada for many generations to come and will create a much-needed re-birth of small-scale farming in our communities.” – Callum, farmer

LOVELAND ACRES, OKANAGAN: Maylene and Robin, a new farming couple, worked with Tessa, Okanagan Land Matcher, for almost a year to find their dream land lease on two acres in the Okanagan. This year they launched Loveland Acres, a certified organic market garden with a focus on winter storage crops and year-round greens to fill the gap in the availability of local food in the off-season. Read more about this match on the YA blog!

“Working with the BCLMP has been the catalyst that helped make our farm dreams a reality. The program offers too many resources to list here, but most importantly the program fosters a sense of community that helps future farmers feel less alone in their pursuit of farming.” – Maylene & Robin, farmers

ZERO FOX FARM, COLUMBIA BASIN: Krista started Zero Fox Farms, a perennial nursery and herb farm, in 2018 after being matched to Barry and Ursula’s land in Harrop. Barry and Ursula were looking for a young farmer or farming family to share their land with and to promote and nurture young families moving into their community, and are in the process of negotiating a match with another farmer on their property. Read more about this match on the YA blog!

“Our Land Matcher really listened to what our land needs were and read our personalities and lifestyles as well. Because of the match, we not only have two acres of incredible land to farm but also a very lovely new and supportive community.” – Krista, farmer


YOUNG AGRARIANS LAND MATCHING TEAM

Darcy Smith, BCLMP Manager – land@youngagrarians.org
Darcy Smith has spent the last decade working to support farmers and food systems. She lives and works on unceded Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh territories. As the first Land Matcher in B.C. and now as BCLMP program manager, she’s worked with many new entrants, seasoned farmers and farmland holders across the province, who all share a vision to help the next generation of farmers get on the land and to see the land producing food into the future. Darcy also edits the BC Organic Grower, a quarterly magazine showcasing organic farming across B.C.

Kat Roger, BCLMP Coordinator bclmp@youngagrarians.org
Kat Roger’s work is driven by a commitment to fostering conditions for good relations in social-ecological communities. Alongside her experiences farming and working in farmer’s markets, she has a background in community organizing, food systems research, and creative arts and storytelling. Kat is passionate about reciprocity economies and believes that transformative relationships can transform the systems they are part of. As the BCLMP Coordinator, Kat is thrilled to be able to steward space for developing transformative relationships which mutually serve land, food, and community. Kat also collaborates on food sovereignty projects in Latin America and the Caribbean with the Foundation for the Islands of Old Providence and Santa Catalina, AgroProvidencia, the Construyendo Caminos collaborative, and the Ecuadorian-Andean agroecology collective, Kurikancha.

Kiyomi Ito, Vancouver Island-Gulf Islands Land Matcher – kiyomi@youngagrarians.org
Kiyomi Ito is a city girl turned cow lover turned farmer and local food enthusiast. Growing up in a city in Japan, Kiyomi’s journey into agriculture started when she accidentally fell in love with dairy cows during her studies at the University of British Columbia. Her love of cows took her on a wild tour across Canada and the United States, working as a cow behaviourist and dairy scientist. In 2013, she landed on Vancouver Island, where she has expanded her interests, learning to be an organic vegetable grower, free-range egg grader, farm store clerk, and Integrated Pest Management specialist, alongside starting her own microgreens and market garden ventures. She further cultivated her commitment to farming and farmers through her volunteer work with a local farmers’ institute. In 2022, Kiyomi’s winding journey led her to her role as a Land Matcher. She is grateful for this opportunity to support fellow farmers and landholders in realizing their visions, and to take part in growing vital farming communities across Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.

Ve-Jane Duong, Metro Vancouver-Fraser Valley Land Matcher – vejane@youngagrarians.org
Ve-Jane grew up in London, UK, and became interested in farming when she was still in Europe and off-grid living was taking off there as a movement. For years, the prospect of farming was a remote fantasy, but after moving to Vancouver, B.C. in 2011, she spent several years working in commercial real estate before deciding to enroll in Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Farm School programme. Since 2019, she has been running a small farm operation alongside off-farm employment. Through her work as a Land Matcher, Ve-Jane is excited to support her fellow farmers and help landholders realize their visions for their land.

Pascale Schittecatte, Okanagan-Thompson Land Matcher – pascale@youngagrarians.org
Originally from Gabriola Island, Pascale Schittecatte spent her earliest years climbing hay bales and feeding bottle calves on Somerset Farm. After many years spent living in cities large and small, Pascale found her way back to farming through food and wine. For the last five years, she has been working as a winemaker and farm hand in the UK and the Okanagan. Pascale is looking forward to applying her farming knowledge, as well as her skills in non-profit management, to support farmers and landholders in the Thompson-Okanagan.

Nyree Marsh, Columbia Basin Land Matcher nyree@youngagrarians.org
Nyree is a hands-on business owner with over 20 years of experience in farming. She was raised in the foothills of Alberta, leaving after graduation for coastal BC, where at 21 she leased her first market garden on Salt Spring Island. From there the passion grew with opportunities to establish farm businesses and work with existing farmers within Canada and overseas before settling in the Kootenays in 2005. Nyree’s great joy and interest is in feeding people, she has worked extensively in providing food to her community through subsistence and commercial farming, working as a sous chef in restaurants, and as an artisanal gelato maker in Nelson. She has deep roots in the local farming community, working as a certified organic farmer and as a volunteer with Kootenay Organic Growers Society and executive board member of the Central Kootenay Food Policy Council; she is a familiar face at many farm networking events. In 2020, Nyree joined the Basin Business Advisors Program as the Agriculture Business Advisor and during her time with the BBA, enjoyed working with regional farmers and ranchers on tailored business solutions. Nyree is excited to apply her skills and knowledge to support farmers and landholders as the Columbia Basin Land Matcher.

Andrew Adams, Central & North Land Matcher – andrew@youngagrarians.org
Andrew grew up in rural Kansas and spent much of his childhood roaming his family’s small farm and forest. Andrew attained a BSc in Agricultural sciences at Kansas State University with a major in conservation. He moved to Alaska and lived there for a few years before meeting and marrying his French-Canadian wife and immigrating to the unceded territory of the Lheidli Tenneh. Andrew worked as a forest ecologist mapping ecosystems and soil while building his farm on 150 acres starting in 2011. Andrew’s farm currently produces certified organic vegetables and fruit to local markets and wholesale distributors in B.C. Since 2018, Andrew has been a commissioner for the Agricultural Land Commission on the North Panel, implementing the mandate of protecting BC’s farmland. A lover of the land and nature, Andrew can be found hunting, foraging or fishing with his two boys and wife when he isn’t farming.

Emi Do, Co-op Coordinator – emi@youngagrarians.org
Emi Do came to cooperatives as a small-scale urban farmer trying to find a viable alternative to the dominant food distribution chain. Though her interest in agricultural cooperatives led to a PhD and an assistant professorship at Tokyo University of Agriculture, the empowerment, mutuality and solidarity underlying cooperatives sparked an interest in the co-ops as a means to democratize and transform relationships across different workplaces and contexts. She has also been an active member of the Community Working Group Operations Team at social.coop for over two years, helping to navigate the challenging waters of online moderation cooperatively. She recently co-authored a book on the transformative potential of cooperatives entitled Cooperatives at Work. Emi is excited to work with YA supporting farmers to help find opportunities for collaboration and fostering cooperation to solve gaps in the food system in B.C.

Melanie Buffel, BCLMP Business Support and Business Mentorship Network Program Manager
Melanie comes from a long line of farmers and found a lot of joy in spending time at her grandparents farms as a child growing up in Alberta. Melanie has been an urban homesteader most of her life, growing and preserving her own food since her early 20s. After completing her BA in Psychology she moved to Vancouver and was inspired to study business and community development. She went on to complete her MBA in Community Economic Development and  developed a thriving practice as a Money Coach for small businesses. Melanie realized a personal dream when she moved to the Fraser Valley in 2017 to live on and manage Abundance Community Farm, a not-for-profit community farm that aims to connect people to the land and each other by growing food collectively. Melanie’s approach is to meet farmers where they are at in their journey and share her knowledge, experience and resource referrals to support their next steps towards their goals.


HISTORY OF YOUNG AGRARIANS LAND ACCESS PROGRAMMING

Land access is the #1 challenge for new and young farmers. As an organization focused on supporting farmers in start-up and throughout their careers, we saw the need for resources to help farmers get on the land. We started our journey into land access in 2012, mapping resources for farmers through the Young Agrarians digital U-MAP.

In 2013, we started offering Land Linking Workshops, which bring people with land together with people looking for land to explore what it means to share land to grow food. The same year, we created the B.C. Land Access Guide, which includes our adaptations (with plain English explanations of all the terms) of the agricultural lease and licence templates from FarmFolk CityFolk and The Land Conservancy of B.C. These resources have been shared with more than 15,000 farmers and landholders online and through Land Linking workshops across B.C.

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 (L’ARTERRE, which translates to “our heart, our land”), Young Agrarians launched our Land Matching Program pilot in 2016. With the support of the Province of British Columbia and regional funders, the BCLMP now offers land matching services across the province. It has been so exciting to work alongside this Quebec-based organization to grow our own land matching offering. L’ARTERRE has expanded significantly across Quebec to over 80 counties operating as a program of Quebec’s Resource Centre for Agriculture and Agri-Food, Le CRAAQ.

In 2019, the University of British Columbia’s Centre for Sustainable Food Systems conducted an evaluation of the BCLMP to determine how the outcomes of the BCLMP are aligning with the needs of new entrant farmers. The evaluation looked at the factors contributing to successful land matches and identified areas of potential growth for the future. Download a PDF of the final report here, or view the research brief and report at UBC’s research hub.

We hope to continue following in their footsteps and supporting more and more farmland holders and seekers on their journey towards feeding their communities and building relationships with each other, through comprehensive land extension supports.


Connect with a Land Matcher

To connect with a Land Matcher, please fill out the info below. Once you submit the form, a Land Matcher will be in touch to learn more about your land or farm vision and needs. We do our best to reply to inquiries within three business days. We look forward to seeing how we can support your land access needs!

If you have been in touch with a Land Matcher before, please follow up directly with your Land Matcher.

PLEASE NOTE! If the application form is left open for too long there is the potential for the information you’ve entered to be lost. In order to prevent this from happening, we recommend completing your short answers in a separate word doc and copying them over once you are ready to submit.