Jolene Swain is the Land Matcher for Central and Northern British Columbia as part of the B.C. Land Matching Program. (Young Agrarians photo)

New program links farmers with land in north

The new British Columbia Land Matching Program (BCLMP) seeks to help new farmers in the north find opportunities to farm.

It does that by linking them up with landowners looking for people to farm their land, and by providing support to develop land agreements.

The BCLMP expanded into northern B.C. in June, after starting out in the south last summer, as Jolene Swain, Land Matcher for the region told Lakes District News.

READ MORE: B.C. Land Matching program to connect landowners and farmers looking to lease

Young Agrarians, part of the Agrarians Foundation in Nanaimo started BCLMP in Metro Vancouver as a pilot in 2016, then expanded to Vancouver/Fraser Valley, the Columbia Basin, Vancouver Island and the Okanagan.

“The goal of the BC Land Matching Program is to address the significant barriers to land access for those seeking to enter the B.C. agriculture industry,” said Swain, who lives and works at an organic farm north of Hazelton.

“We’ve been hearing from farmers and farmland owners in central and northern B.C. that land access support is very much needed to help new farmers get on the land, and to help seasoned farmers transition their land and farm to the next generation.”

“My role as a Land Matcher is to connect farmers and farmland owners, which includes helping them better understand regulations, evaluate opportunities, access resources, and ultimately find a land match partner. I work with farmers to develop their business plan, help farmland owners assess their land opportunity, facilitate introductions and negotiations between farmers and farmland owners, and support the development of land agreements.”

More than two dozen farmers have been matched with farmland in southern regions since the program started last year.

Since BCLMP expanded into the north last month, there have been few matches, but there has been a lot of interest from potential farmers.

“Young Agrarians hosted a mixer in Williams Lake in February 2019, and we had [more than] 100 people come out to network and learn together. Other events on farms in the region have also been well attended,” Swain said.

“Right now, we’re focused on building an inventory of land opportunities and farmers seeking land, and there are already some potential land opportunities springing up in the region.”

Future events for farmers and landowners to connect are planned in the next few months.

For more information on joining the program check out its website at https://youngagrarians.org/tools/land/bc-land-matching-program/ or email Swain at jolene@youngagrarians.org.


Blair McBride
Multimedia reporter
Send Blair an email
Like Lakes District News on Facebook

Just Posted

Pro cyclist’s Burns Lake trail ride goes online

Nate Hills, a professional mountain biker and online influencer posted a video… Continue reading

Northern B.C.’s Ridley coal terminal sold, Canada divests, First Nations to own portion

Ten per cent of shares transferred to the Lax Kw’alaams Band and the Metlakatla First Nation

Skeena mainstem closed to recreational sockeye

Escapements expected to be below 800,000 threshold

B.C. to begin increasing coastal log export charges

New fees based on harvest cost, cedar no longer exempt

Giant mushroom haul

Cheyenne Murray holds a 23-pound puffball mushroom she picked on June 27.… Continue reading

‘Bad choices make good stories’: Margaret Trudeau brings her show to Just for Laughs

Trudeau says over the decades she has been suicidal, manic, depressed

UPDATE: Youth seen with gun at Nanaimo mall, suspect now in custody

Woodgrove Centre shut down during police incident

B.C. man dies from rabies after contact with Vancouver Island bat

Last known case of human rabies in B.C. was 16 years ago

Crown recommends up to two-year jail term for former Bountiful leader

Crown says sentence range should be 18 months to two years for Bountiful child removal case

B.C.-wide police efforts identify Vancouver Island robbery suspect

Warrant issued for arrest of North Vancouver man for TD Bank robbery

VIDEO: Wolf spotted swimming ashore on northern Vancouver Island

Island wolf population estimated at under 150 in 2008, says VI-Wilds

Diversity a Canadian strength, Trudeau says of Trump tweets at congresswomen

Trudeau avoided using Trump’s name when he was asked about the president’s Twitter comments

B.C. couple bring son home from Nigeria after long adoption delay

Kim and Clark Moran of Abbotsford spent almost a year waiting to finalize adoption of Ayo, 3

Garneau ‘disappointed’ in airlines’ move against new passenger bill of rights

New rules codified compensation for lost luggage, overbooked flights

Most Read