27 minutes with John & Kelly

SBC September 10th - Tamara Knott: Owner & Controlled Environment Farmer at Bright Greens & Steve Duck: Business Manager for the Sandown Center for Regenerative Agriculture

September 12, 2020

Challenges

  • fresh food to market - distribution challenging / processing in Island challenging
  • high land costs
  • older farm owners dominant / succession issues / aging out with huge debt / how do young farmers get involved
  • high cost of labour / limited labour pool
  • how can the farm owner earn a sustainable living?

Partner Solutions

  • agri-tourism / vertical integration / challenging processing chains / supply channels
  • the creation of "farmpreneur"
  • Sandown Centre for Regenerative Agriculture (https://www.vicnews.com/news/north-saanichs-sandown-lands-to-become-agricultural-focused-community-centre/) - fully committed to the development of "farmpreneur"
  • focus on the business of farming
  • more support from government for small farming
    • education specific to accessing funding opportunities
    • accomodation for staff on the farm
    • grants for leasehold land ownership (soil irrigation / fencing - consider these as TI for farming)
    • policy & program development should be regional, not just Vancouver & Valley oriented
    • higher threshold for large land estates to claim farm tax
  • Island Good (https://islandgood.ca/about-island-good/what-is-island-good/)

3 emerging areas

  • small farm development
  • new foods
  • new practises for small farm production

Why are these emergent areas? Focus on high cost of land and creating sustainable & affordable businesses

Sandown Centre for Regenerative Agriculture

  • building future farms
  • agricultural sustainability & security
  • regenerative farming (junkyard to farm)
  • mentoring of future farmers & community farmers
  • partners:
    • District of North Saanich
    • UVIC
    • Fickle Fig Farm
    • Kwantlen Institute for Sustainable Food & Systems
    • Tseycum Nation in the future

Summary

  • pay attention to our own backyard - must be able to regenerate our land
  • future investment in the "farmpreneur" - must be better farm based business people & entities
  • the Peninsula is a fabulous asset & we must celebrate & promote the food / farming / business sector to the broader community

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