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Eight agricultural projects approved for grant funding

The BC Hydro Peace Agricultural Compensation Fund (PACF) board of directors has approved $180,298 in grant funding to support agricultural production and related economic activity in the Peace Region.

From $5,000 for an inaugural two-day agricultural conference and market in Dawson Creek to $80,380 for a forage lands rejuvenation research project, the varying projects will financially support seven organizations and provide far-reaching benefits to the agricultural community and beyond.

Since 2018, more than $1.7 million has been approved through the PACF. There are two intake cycles for the fund in 2023, with the current intake running from December 2, 2022, to January 31, 2023. The following intake will open July 31 and close September 29, 2023.

Recipients include:

Chetwynd Public Library Association (Chetwynd): $5,000 to expand the Seed Library Educational Initiative. This is the third time the Chetwynd Public Library has received funding from PACF for their Seed Library. The program increases food security by allowing residents to grow their own food, supports local growing businesses and creates more food opportunities for wildlife and pollinating insects.

Community Futures Development Corporation – Peace Liard (Dawson Creek): $5,000 to bring the inaugural Agro Connect Conference and Agricultural Market to the Peace Region in February. The two-day event will bring together agricultural producers to share resources, learnings and provide an opportunity for attendees to network. The conference will introduce and inform the community about local opportunities to support food security in the region.

Peace River Forage Association (Peace Region): $80,380 through the Research and Demonstration Initiatives funding stream to conduct research on the use of prescribed burning and how it impacts soil carbon storage in the Peace Region. Conducted over three years, data collection will focus on forage production, forage nutrition and soil health. Results will be disseminated regionally, provincially and nationally.

Zoe Newton (Taylor): $31,346 to establish a three-acre orchard to provide direct access to local fruit, increase awareness of the fruit that thrives in the local climate and engage with youth and others to learn about and pursue careers that develop the agriculture industry in the Peace Region.

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