Kootenay Young Agrarians hosting land-linking event in Creston

Web Lead

A recent Young Agrarians mixer in Alberta.

Kootenay demand for local food is on the rise. A recent Rural Development Institute poll found that Columbia Basin residents not only want a local diet, but 69 pre cent are also prepared to pay a premium for local foods. With our region’s farmers among the oldest in the country, the market seems to be calling out for more young farmers to help meet demand.

The catch is that aspiring young farmers face a wide range of barriers to getting established, from a lack of good training options to the high cost of farmland.

In a recent blog post, former Nelson-Creston MLA and longtime organic farmer Corky Evans made a compelling plea on behalf of young and aspiring Kootenay farmers.

“The land I live on in Winlaw cost $10,000 in 1972. It is now appraised at $400,000… or 40 times as much as I paid,” wrote the one-time agriculture minister. “In 1972, an unskilled labourer in the Kootenays (as I was then) made approximately $600 a month. In order for a young person today to have a proportionally equal chance to acquire and pay off the same piece of land, they would have to earn 40 times $600, or $24,000 a month.”

Evans’ post is part of an effort to promote a province-wide series of “land linking” events. Young Agrarians, a B.C.-based young farmer network, is hosting the events to build networks of support around transitioning the province’s farmland to the next generation. YA’s work involves advocacy for innovations like regional farmland trusts and practical short-term strategies like “matchmaking” land-seekers and landowners.

Land linking events combine a practical workshop on the ins and outs of alternative land access arrangements (options like leasing and licensing land) with a potluck social.

“Our main hope is to create opportunities for people with land and people looking for land to connect with each other,” says Laura Hannant, Kootenay Young Agrarians co-ordinator and Creston Valley farmer. “By hosting the workshops and sharing resources, like our B.C. Land Access Guide, we also hope to connect people with the kind of information that can help make a land match work well and last over time.”

These Kootenay land linking workshops will be held in Winlaw on Feb. 12 and Invermere on Feb. 14. Workshops will be followed by potluck socials open to all. A more informal gathering will be held in Creston on Feb. 21 at the Snoring Sasquatch. All events are free or by donation. For more information and to register, visit youngagrarians.org or call 1-888-730-0452 ext. 301.

—KOOTENAY YOUNG AGRARIANS

Just Posted

Landlord-tenant disputes highlight this week’s police blotter

Police received 54 calls for assistance from November 6 to November 12.

No Stone Left Alone honours Lower Kootenay Band veterans

Veterans and service members joined Yaqan Nukiy School students in a ceremony of song and reflection on Nov. 8 to honour Lower Kootenay Band veterans at St. Peter’s Cemetery.

Kootenay employers ready to meet job seekers at Black Press career fair

Dozens of companies will attend the event on Nov. 15 at the Ktunaxa Nation Building in Cranbrook

B.C. Legions in need of young members to continue aiding veterans into the future

Lest we forget what thousands of men and women did to fight for Canada’s freedoms – but without new membership, many Legion chapters face dwindling numbers

Creston postal workers go on 24-hour strike

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers (CUPW) went on strike in Creston… Continue reading

VIDEO: Amazon to split second HQ between New York, Virginia

Official decision expected later Tuesday to end competition between North American cities to win bid and its promise of 50,000 jobs

Kuhnhackl scores 2 odd goals as Isles dump Canucks 5-2

Vancouver drops second game in two nights

Stink at B.C. school prompts complaints of headaches, nausea

Smell at Abbotsford school comes from unauthorized composting operation

Fear of constitutional crisis escalates in U.S.; Canadians can relate

Some say President Donald Trump is leading the U.S. towards a crisis

B.C.-based pot producer Tilray reports revenue surge, net loss

Company remains excited about ‘robust’ cannabis industry

Canada stands pat on Saudi arms sales, even after hearing Khashoggi tape

Khashoggi’s death at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul further strained Riyadh’s already difficult relationship with Ottawa

Feds pledge money for young scientists, but funding for in-house research slips

Canada’s spending on science is up almost 10 per cent since the Liberals took office, but spending on in-house research is actually down

Disabled boy has ‘forgiven’ bullies who walked on him in stream, mom says

A Cape Breton teen who has cerebral palsy was told to lie in a stream as other kids walked over him

Letters shed light on state of mind of B.C. mom accused of daughter’s murder

Trial of South Surrey mother Lisa Batstone begins in BC Supreme Court

Most Read