Community Involvement

The Greater Vancouver Food Bank (GVFB)

The Greater Vancouver Food Bank is a non-profit organization with a mission to create empowering environments that provide and promote access to healthy food, education and training. The GVFB provides assistance to over 26,500 people weekly through 13 food locations and more than 80 community agencies located in Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster and the North Shore. The GVFB is committed to its vision of accessible, healthy and sustainable food for all and through community collaboration, is pro-actively working to help end hunger.

Take a Bite of BC Participation

Take a Bite of BC is a BC Agriculture initiative to raise appreciation for local farms and their importance within the community, economically and environmentally.

BCfresh donates produce to high school culinary arts programs so students can experience the benefits of cooking with locally grown food. The produce is delivered from the BCfresh facility to the classroom and many of the classroom lessons are then served in the school cafeteria.

 

Delta Farmland & Wildlife Trust

Founded in 1993 by local farmers and conservationists, the Farmland and Wildlife Trust promotes the preservation and conservation of agricultural farmland and associated wildlife habitat through sustainable farming and co-operative land stewardship.

BCfresh growers are supporters and active participants in the Delta Farmland and Wildlife Trust which administers stewardship programs that are available to farmers who operate on the Fraser River delta.

Here are 5 stewardship programs that address the challenges facing agricultural and wildlife conservation:

The Grassland Set-aside Stewardship Program gives farmers the opportunity to leave fields sown with a mix of grasses and clover for a maximum period of 4 years. The cost of managing the fallow field is shared by the farmer and Delta Farmland and Wildlife Trust.

Benefits of Grassland Set-Aside:

  • Improves soil fertility by increasing organic matter in the soil
  • Helps farmers transition to organic production by spanning the 3-year pesticide and chemical fertilizer-free certification period

The Winter Cover Crop Stewardship Program affects thousands of acres of farmland every year by helping farmers apply vegetative cover on their fields before winter. The cost of planting is shared by the farmer and the Delta Farmland and Wildlife Trust.

 Benefits of winter cover crops:
  • Provides feeding habitat for waterfowl and shorebirds during winter months
  • Protects the soil from erosion due to heavy winter rain
  • Increases organic matter in the soil, thereby improving soil structure prior to spring planting.

Gone are the horses and ploughs once used to furrow fields. Today, GPS, stationary laser emitters, and ploughs with laser receivers are used to contour fields. The Land Laser Leveling Stewardship Program contributes to re-contouring fields so the impact of water erosion on the fields is minimized.

 Benefits of laser leveling:
  • Eliminates low spots and pooling in fields; reduces compaction and salinity
  • Minimize surface water runoff and erosion that can carry away soil particles
  • Allows fields to dry out earlier; this allows farmers earlier access for planting in spring and the likelihood of planting a cover crop once cash crop is harvested.

The Hedgerow Stewardship Program assists farmers in re-establishing or retaining native trees and shrubs on Delta farms. These plantings provide year-round wildlife habitat along field edges.

 Benefits of hedgerows:
  • Provides habitat for songbirds, waterfowl,  and beneficial insects, including pollinators like bumblebees and predators like lacewings
  • Creates wind and rain barriers, preventing soil erosion
  • Provides shade and barriers for livestock
  • Provides nesting sites for Red-tailed Hawk and Bald Eagles in mature trees such as alder, cottonwood, and Douglas fir.

The Grass Margin Stewardship Program assists farmers in planting the edges of farm fields with a mix of forage grasses.

 Benefits of the grass margins:
  • Provides habitat for small mammals
  • Provides nesting habitat for bumblebees
  • Provides refuges for beneficial insects
  • Traps sediment before it can run off of the field
  • Acts as a buffer between organically-certified crop fields.

Canada-BC Environmental Farm Plan Program (EFP)

EFP Program:

Since 2004, EFP helps growers identify environmental risks and strengths on their farms and implement environmental farm practices to increase profitability. Growers may be eligible for funding and cost-shared incentives to help them implement solutions to problems such as:

  • Fencing
  • Drainage
  • Riparian and soil integrity
  • Building upgrades
  • Waste Management
  • Air quality control
  • Emissions control
  • Water control

The application form is straightforward and open to new and established farmers. EFP operates through BC Agriculture Research & Development Corporation (ARDCorp).

EFP is a partnership between Agriculture and Agri-food Canada (AAFC), the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Lands (BCMAL) and the BC Agriculture Council (BCAC).

EFP Vision:
Agricultural sustainability and contribution to a cleaner, healthier environment in British Columbia.

EFP Values:

  • Protect the land
  • Enhance the effectiveness of farms
  • Build partnerships

EFP Objectives:

  • Improve BC’s sustainable agriculture
  • Recognize producer efforts to manage their land in an environmentally sustainable manner
  • Improve relationships with environmental agencies
  • Improve the response to environmental incidents through contingency planning
  • Be confidential and voluntary
  • Improve farm profitability
  • Improve public perception of agriculture
  • Reduce conflicts between agriculture and environmental issues
  • Reduce wildlife impacts to environmental landsEFP Funding:
  • Funding is from the funding agreement known as Growing Forward 2 (federal and provincial funding agreement). BC AGRI continues to provide additional resources, such as personnel and technical advice.
  • For more information, visit the program website  to find contact information for the ARDCorp office and Planning Advisors around the province.

Contact: T : 1-866-522-3447 | E :efpinfo@ardcorp.ca

National Farm Stewardship Program and Greencover Canada

These programs are no longer available. The replacement program is now the Beneficial Management Practices Program under the Growing Forward 2 funding agreement.

Growing Forward 2 (GF2)

GF2 is the foundation for government agricultural programs from April 2013 to March 2018. GF2 programs focus on innovation, competitiveness, and market development to ensure growers have the tools and resources they need.  They offer 3 new programs:

Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) uses a combination of techniques to manage crop pests in economically and environmentally sound ways.  IPM involves knowledge of:

  • Pest  life cycles
  • Field monitoring
  • Data collection
  • Cultural practices that prevent damage

IPM works on the premise that the crop can tolerate some pest presence without causing economic loss to the grower. Control measures are taken when pest levels approach the level that will cause economic loss to the grower. IPM practices encourage the selection of controls that are economical, effective, and least disruptive to:

  • Beneficial organisms
  • Humans
  • Environment
 

BCfresh growers primarily consult with E.S. Cropconsult Ltd. (ESC).  As research is a substantial and necessary part of IPM, BCfresh growers participate in a variety of research projects conducted annually by ESC. Their research projects develop alternatives to pesticides (i.e. biological controls) for control of pests and diseases. They believe that IPM must progress towards replacement of pesticides with environmentally sound alternatives and integrate these alternatives into economically viable strategies for management of pests and diseases.

ESC contact info: T: (604)266-6560 |  info@escrop.com

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