Ten projects are receiving more than $175,000 from the compensation fund set up to offset the agricultural impacts of the Site C dam project.
Summit Acre Farm in Fort St. John won the largest portion of the latest disbursement, receiving $50,000 to relocate a harvester silo.
Hanna Acres, also in Fort St. John, will receive $28,475 to expand its operations and install protective fencing, while Sweetwater Farm is receiving $22,553 to kickstart its vegetable and fruit farm in Dawson Creek. Both projects will contribute to greater food security in the region.
‚ÄúAs much as we love to see wildlife on the farm, it‚Äôs discouraging when they are eating your produce,‚ÄĚ says Eric Hanna of Hanna Acres. ‚ÄúThis helps to ensure Peace residents are the ones to eat our veggies! We so appreciate the opportunity this has afforded us to both expand our workspace and improve the farm‚Äôs efficiency.‚ÄĚ
Other projects funded through the program will support environmental protection and on-farm diversification initiatives.
Fort St. John rancher David Braun received $9,825 to rebuild his east pasture, while Suzan Lapp, also of Fort St. John, received $8,006 for a riparian and stream protection project.
The smallest award, $4,900, was made to Golden Eagle Enterprises Ltd. for the Miyho Pimatasowin farm diversification project. Golden Eagle will deliver a 20-day youth training program aimed at building agricultural capacity among Treaty 8 First Nations.
All told, the compensation fund has supported 34 projects with a total of more than $775,000 since its launch in 2018. Two intakes take place each year and cover up to 80% of project costs. An endowment from BC Hydro of $20 million underpins the fund, administered by the Northern Development Initiative Trust.