The Creston community has voiced concerns regarding incoming pickers from other provinces due to COVID-19, and local farmers are anxious they won’t be able to meet production requirements this season without them.
As a result, Fields Forward Society, an agriculture initiative in Creston and District, is holding COVID-19 health and safety training for farmers on Friday, June 19, at 9 a.m at Creston’s Ramada hotel.
Ron Macc of AgSafe BC will be leading the training, which is tailored for farmers who provide accommodations or camps for agriculture workers.
Additional training for pickers, including the workers staying in public and private campgrounds, will be offered at a future date.
The Okanagan Valley will serve as the example for the Creston Valley, with pickers arriving there several weeks before coming to the Kootenays, said Fields Forward coordinator, Elizabeth Quinn.
Fields Forward are in touch with the BC Fruit Growers Association representative in the Okanagan, who is also providing COVID health and safety training. Many pickers will already be trained once they arrive in Creston.”
The value of food production for the Regional District of Central Kootenay is $34.4 million for the region, according to Fields Forward.
Registration is required because space is limited due to COVID-19 protocols. Call Ron Macc at 250-342-5704 to reserve a seat.