B.C. Minister of Agriculture

B.C. Minister of Agriculture

Agriculture minister sees big potential in region’s farms

The provincial minister of agriculture took a whirlwind tour of the Bulkley-Nechako region last week.

Apryl Veld

Omineca Express

The provincial minister of agriculture took a whirlwind tour of the Bulkley-Nechako region last week.

“It’s been fast and furious,” Don McRae said.

His tour coincided with a natural resource forum in Prince George where Premier Christy Clark was also present and touting the region’s growth on a number of fronts.

One of the groups McRae met with was the Sunshine Valley Cattlemen’s Association. They discussed markets that are opening up for farmers and ranchers because of B.C.’s  quality food products that can be marketed to ever more sophisticated consumers.

McRae describe his visits as “mostly agricultural but not exclusively,” referring to meeting with municipal council in Vanderhoof and economic development officers as well as farmers. He noted his tour at Newsat Farms poultry raising  and abattoir.

“It’s phenomenal to see such an investment by a couple who moved from outside the (region), who did not expect to become farmers, and now they employ up to six people, and they provide service to other producers,” McRae observed.

The farmers ship product to as far away as Mackenzie and their poultry last year was sold before it was even mature.

“It’s a showcase piece,” said McRae said of the mom and pop operation, “start small and grow.”

He noted that by hiring locals the Richardsons (Dennis and Vicky) are adding a quality of life to local workers. McRae’s also met with locals including ranchers who have formed the group, Nechako Lands and Watershed Stewardship Society.

“We talked about their work on Murray Creek,” he said, including making the flood project more productive.

“It’s going to cost a lot of money,” McRae estimates, “but the impact is going to be there for generations, not just environmentally, but also just for quality of life.”

He added B.C. is in a privileged position of having a large land base and a small population that we can be big food exporters of high quality foods and so local valleys could be in a position to be major players in that growing economy.

The MLA for Comox Valley, another major farming area was named minister of agriculture when Clark took the reins as premier. Liberal MLA John Rustad who guided McRae on his tour noted this is the first time in 15 years that a provincial agriculture minister has visited his riding.


Just Posted

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

The Binche Fishing Derby at Stuart Lake is fast approaching. (Binche Fishing Derby Facebook photo)
Binche shares excitement for upcoming fishing derby

“It’s more than just fishing,” says Dave Birdi

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Local youth vaccination clinics underway

Pfizer vaccine will be used

Priya Sharma. (Submitted)
Column: Why ultimatums don’t work

By Priya Sharma It is a common misconception that people can choose… Continue reading

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

One Reconciliation Pole and two Welcome Figures were unveiled during a ceremony in honour of truth and reconciliation on National Peoples Indigenous Day at the Vancouver School District in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday, June 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Horgan marks Indigenous Peoples Day by urging recognition of systemic racism

National Indigenous Peoples Day has been marked in Canada since 1996

A man makes his way past signage to a mass COVID-19 vaccination centre at the University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississauga, Ont., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canadians encouraged to see mRNA shots as interchangeable as more 2nd doses open up

Doctos urge people not to hesitate if offered Moderna after getting Pfizer for their first shot

Chief of Defence Staff Jonathan Vance sits in the front row during a news conference in Ottawa on June 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Defence committee rises without report on Vance allegations

Committee had been investigating the government’s handling of complaints against former defence chief

The Coquihalla Lakes washroom is getting upgrades. (Submitted)
Coquihalla to get upgrades to aging washrooms

The Ministry of Transportation is providing $1 million in funding to upgrade 3 rest areas

The Sacred Hearts church on PIB land burned Monday morning. (Theresa May Jack/Facebook)
Two churches on First Nation land in South Okanagan burn to the ground

Sacred Hearts church on Penticton Indian Band land was reduced to rubble

Tl’etinqox-lead ceremony at the site of the former St. Joseph’s Mission in Williams Lake, B.C., June 18, 2021. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
‘We are all one people’: Honouring residential school victims and survivors

Love, support and curiousity: Canadians urged to learn about residential schools and their impact

Indigenous rights and climate activists gathered outside Liberty Mutual’s office in Vancouver to pressure the insurance giant to stop covering Trans Mountain. (Photo by Andrew Larigakis)
Activists work to ensure Trans Mountain won’t get insurance

Global campaign urging insurance providers to stay away from Canadian pipeline project

In the first election with public money replacing corporate or union donations, B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau and B.C. NDP leader John Horgan take part in election debate at the University of B.C., Oct. 13, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. MLAs ponder 2022 ‘sunset’ of subsidy for political parties

NDP, B.C. Fed call for increase, B.C. Liberals have no comment

Most Read