The Bella Coola Sustainable Ag Society
and area have been devastated by the recent rains on the coast. (see below)!!
GFBRAS is asking all the regions farmers and eaters to help these farmers by donating funds to buy needed feed for their livestock. This devastation could happen to any area of our province, would your society or local farmers be prepared??
GFBRAS is currently holding a pumpkin fund raiser and will be donating the proceeds to the Bella Coola Valley Sustainable Ag Society. We have been in contact with the Society and their response is immediately below. We will be opening an account at the Grand Forks Credit Union so direct deposits can be accommodated, info to come ! Please let’s help them out as much as we can!!!!
Doug Zorn President Grand Forks and Boundary Regional Ag Society Gfbras.ca
Hi there- I'm writing to you from the Bella Coola Valley.
As you may have heard, we have been hit with flooding of epic proportions. Our region has been declared a disaster area by the Provincial Emergency Program, and recovery of homes and roads is underway.
Unfortunately, none of our local farms is eligible for support through the PEP program.
Due to the realities of the agriculture industry, our farmers are forced to work off the farm in order to make ends meet, which makes them ineligible for farm assistance. This is not to say that their on-farm income is not important - quite the opposite. People in our region have always had diversified incomes, and have pieced together a livelihood that allows them to live here. On farm income is an essential piece, and an important economic generator for our region.
Our local farmers have also been key players in regenerating our local food system, and have been active participants in building food security and increasing the community's access to high quality local produce through our Farmers Market, CSA project, Community Harvest Gleaning Project, Food Bank, school agriculture projects, community gardens, etc.
At this point, our community has lost over 270 tonnes of winter feed, along with livestock, fencing, equipment, tools, heritage seeds, heritage fruit trees, corrals and paddocks, barns and shelters, market gardens, pasture, and actual acreage washed down the river.
Our community's efforts to support local farmers and increase the resiliency of our agricultural sector, as well as increase our community's ability to feed itself, are in jeopardy. We are at a critical juncture.
While we are considering strategies to encourage changes to the PEP program and are exploring other potential responses to this event, we are more immediately facing an urgent and essential need for winter feed. We have redistributed and shared around the hay that was not damaged or salvaged from the flood, but our community's farm animals are in imminent danger of going hungry.
We wonder if your organization might either have an emergency fund to assist producers in crisis, or know of other avenues for funding and/or support that we might approach.
Additionally, we have created an account at our local Credit Union specifically for Farm Relief. Donations via cheque can be made to "CCRD-Farm Relief 2010" and mailed to Williams Lake and District Credit Union, Box 214, Bella Coola V0T 1C0. Tax receipts can be issued if donors include their name and mailing address.
Thank you so much for your consideration. Please don't hesitate to get in touch if you have questions or require additional information.
Dayna Dayna Chapman
Bella Coola Valley Sustainable Agricultural Society
Box 828, Bella Coola,
250 799 5287 or 250 799 5199