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Province commits $20M to help ranchers, farmers recover from drought, wildfires

VICTORIA – B.C.’s ranchers can access up to $20 million to help with extraordinary expenses they incur for feed, shelter, animal health and safety, and the transportation of their livestock as a result of this year’s wildfires and drought.

B.C.’s farmers are also eligible to receive funding for extraordinary expenses through the 2021 Canada-British Columbia Wildfire and Drought AgriRecovery Initiative. Extraordinary expenses include reseeding forage, and to replace fencing or other critical infrastructure that is not insurable and was damaged or destroyed in the fires. This funding includes funding for beekeepers to replace their colonies or apiary equipment lost in the wildfires.

“This year’s drought and fires have been incredibly difficult for many B.C. ranchers and farmers, and the B.C. government is here to help them keep their livelihoods and the province’s food security and economy moving forward,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture, in a news release. “The $20-million response package we’ve put together will help B.C. ranchers maintain their breeding stock, continue their operations and continue to supply British Columbians with food grown and raised in our province.”

The 2021 Canada-British Columbia Wildfire and Drought AgriRecovery Initiative provides assistance for the following:

Wildfire and drought support:

* extraordinary expenses caused by the wildfires and drought related to ensuring livestock feeding needs are not impacted due to feed loss or decreased availability;

* extraordinary expenses caused by the wildfires and drought related to ensuring animal health and safety;

* transportation costs to move impacted animals to a safe feeding location;

* feed for breeding livestock, including cattle, sheep and horses, based on a feed need requirement;

* contributions toward the re-establishment of tame perennial forage damaged by the fires; and

* where breeding herds are reduced due to lack of forage, support for the herd management costs associated with replacement breeding animals.

Wildfire damages:

* costs to replace apiaries, bee colonies and beekeeping equipment lost in the wildfires; and

* costs to repair or replace critical infrastructure damaged by wildfire, not covered by insurance.

“The devastation to B.C. ranches, their livestock and operations from this year’s wildfires and drought has been extensive,” said Kevin Boon, general manager, BC Cattlemen’s Association. “Experience from past wildfires has not been lost on the government. The announcement of this comprehensive AgriRecovery program will go a long way to assisting producers in their efforts to re-establish their operations and help them recover from the effects of this year’s debilitating events.”

AgriRecovery is a federal-provincial-territorial disaster relief framework to help agricultural producers with the extraordinary costs associated with recovering from natural disasters. Eligible costs will be supported on the 60-40 cost-shared federal-provincial basis outlined under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.

Learn More: 

B.C. ranchers can access information and applications for the program online: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/agriculture-seafood/programs/2021-wildfire-and-drought-agrirecovery-initiative

For more information about the 2021 Canada-British Columbia Wildfire and Drought AgriRecovery Initiative, producers can call 1 888 332 3352
Or email: AgriRecovery@gov.bc.ca (mailto:AgriRecovery@gov.bc.ca

Agriculture and seafood programs – Province of British Columbia: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/agriculture-seafood/programs#Insurance

Emergency management for agriculture – Province of British Columbia: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/agriculture-seafood/business-market-development/emergency-management

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