New program helps agriculture grow

Kootenay and Boundary Farm Advisors is a free service that is launching this summer.

Sacha and Tyler from Cutter Ranch located in Fort Steele, in the East Kootenay, raise heritage pork, pasture chicken and beef.

Sacha and Tyler from Cutter Ranch located in Fort Steele, in the East Kootenay, raise heritage pork, pasture chicken and beef. — Photo courtesy Columbia Basin Trust

(Columbia Basin & Kootenay Boundary) - Agricultural producers in the region now have access to a new service offering technical support and expertise to help them succeed. Kootenay and Boundary Farm Advisors is a free service that is launching this summer.

The regional districts of Central Kootenay, Kootenay Boundary and East Kootenay have partnered with Columbia Basin Trust to provide the service. The new program offers agricultural expertise to producers to improve the efficiency, productivity and viability of their farming or ranching operations.

The services are free and open to agricultural producers working towards commercial viability in the regional districts and Columbia Basin Trust region. Services include expert advice on topics such as irrigation, pest control, production, water, soil, climate change and research.

“The program is active now with work building up to full services next spring,” explains Rachael Roussin, program coordinator. “Producers can now sign up and share their challenges, helping us connect them to appropriate technical expertise and develop workshops and educational opportunities.”

The Kootenay and Boundary Farm Advisors program evolved out of the work of the Regional Agricultural Liaison Services that the regional districts and the Trust collaborated on. Keefer Ecological Services Ltd. (KES) has been awarded the Kootenay & Boundary Farm Advisors contract. KES has expertise in sustainable agriculture and a breadth of experience in agricultural program development and management, which includes providing extension services.

To sign up or learn more about Kootenay and Boundary Farm Advisors services, visit the KBFA website at www.kbfa.ca or call 1-800-958-7174.

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