BC’s unique climate means variety flourishes here, from eggs, mushrooms and dairy to tree fruit, grain and beef and so much more!

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Farms in BC

BC farmer shares reasons to love local!

Do you know where your food comes from?

More and more here in BC, the answer is “Yes,” which is exciting news for BC farmers, like Sarah Sache.

“The public is so integral to what we do.”

Originally from the West Kootenays, Sarah married into a longtime Lower Mainland dairy farming family, and in addition to daily farm work, she’s actively involved in the agriculture industry at the provincial and national level.

Initiatives like Canada’s Agriculture Day (#CdnAgDay) and We ♥ Local BC, a province-wide movement connecting consumers with BC farmers and ranchers, help grow public awareness about food and farming, Sarah says.

“For me, coming from outside of agriculture, I was learning everything fresh. I understand how much the average person doesn’t know about farming.”

Fortunately, there are lots of ways you can get to know more about the farms you see around the province.

Curious? Here are 5 BC farm and food facts that might surprise you:

1. BC tops the list for female farm operators. The 2016 census found BC has the highest proportion of female farm operators in Canada at 37.5 per cent, compared to 28.7 per cent nationally. Across the province there are many farmers like Sarah producing the local food you love.

2. BC’s farms are precious. There are only about 17,500 farms in BC. While the number of BC farms is going down, their property size is increasing. The average area per farm has increased from an average of 327 acres in 2011 to 365 acres in 2016. Regardless of size, 98 per cent of those farms are family-owned businesses!

3. BC farms produce 200+ different commodities! BC’s unique climate means variety flourishes here. Find locally produced food to fit any taste and preference – from eggs, chicken, mushrooms and dairy to tree fruit, vegetables, grain and beef…. and many more. And don’t forget agricultural products like cut flowers and nursery plants. Local is everywhere you look! Reflecting on that diversity, “you get a real sense that you’re part of something special,” Sarah says.

4. BC is a leader across Canada. If you’ve enjoyed local bounty like cherries or berries, it’s easy to understand why BC-grown foods are in demand around the world! In fact, BC producers rank first in Canada for farm sales of blueberries, cherries, raspberries, garlic, apricots and leeks, and are second nationally in farm sales of greenhouse vegetables, floriculture products, nursery products, mushrooms, grapes, cranberries, and many more.

5. The number of farmers under 35 is growing. 1,825 young farmers are producing your food in BC. In fact, the proportion of young BC farmers grew from 5.4 per cent in 2011 to 6.9 per cent in 2016. As more family farms are passed to the next generation, young farmers are showing they have the drive and the smarts to carry on the important work of food production, and to succeed at it. Says Sarah: “I came to agriculture through forestry and mining, so I really don’t think farming experience should be a barrier. There’s such a wide array of options out there. Agriculture is really a sector worth exploring as a career.”

Celebrate BC agriculture

If you’re interested in starting off your new year by supporting locally grown food, check out We Heart Local BC’s recipes page for inspiration. And on Feb. 11, celebrate #CdnAgDay – sharing pride in the industry and highlighting the close connection between the food we eat and the people who produce it.

Learn more about your local BC farmers and ranchers online at weheartlocalbc.ca and join the conversation on Facebook and Instagram!

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Did you know? Of the approximately 17,500 farms in BC, 98 per cent are family-owned businesses!

Comments are closed

Just Posted

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

United Way celebrates seven decades of impact in Southern Interior

Organization sees issues with poverty, mental health and addictions, heighten during the pandemic

Primary Care Networks coming for Okanagan Nation Alliance communities

New partnerships will provide Syilx members with better, culturally-safe primary care

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

West Kelowna Warriors complete sweep of Vernon Vipers

Warriors edge Snakes 2-1 as Okanagan Cup BCHL exhibition tournament begins

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

Public input sharpens vision of Oyama Ithmus Park

Proposed project to shape the long-term future of waterfront land in Lake Country

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

COVID-19 outbreak declared at Kelowna church service

Attendees of Calvary Chapel Kelowna’s Sept. 13 morning service may have been exposed

Kelowna man injured during arrest sues RCMP

Supreme Court civil claim alleges Dustin Blondin was the victim of an ‘unprovoked attack’

PHOTOS: Ghost sighting in Vernon’s Polson Park

Mom and daughter photoshoot brings joy and laughter to bystanders

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

Most Read