This year’s wildfires in the B.C. Interior have severely impacted many ranchers. A wide variety of supports are in place to help support them, from emergency feed to assistance in rounding up animals.
BC Cattlemen’s Association General Manager Kevin Boon has an update for ranchers on wildfires and funding programs; go to the BC Cattlemen’s Association Facebook page for more information.
The Range Rider Program is available to assist ranchers in rounding up and gathering animals on crown rangeland so that they can be returned to their home ranch sites or to alternative private or crown sheltering locations. Go to https://bit.ly/3y5lpf2 for information and an application form.
Emergency Management BC has a Wildfire 2021 Emergency Feed Program, which provides emergency feed support for up to 14 days. For information go to https://bit.ly/3j6foLb.
Anyone who has hay and/or pasture available can fill out a form at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/QJCLG8Z. The information will be shared with those needing to purchase hay or pasture. To see what resources are currently available, go to https://bit.ly/3j0Cl2i.
The Province has implemented late participation in the federal-provincial AgriStability program for 2021. The program provides funding to farmers who have experienced income declines due to crop or livestock losses or market conditions. Late participation means B.C. farmers who are not currently enrolled for the 2021 program year can now apply to enrol up until Dec. 31, 2022. Late registrants in the 2021 program will receive a 20 per cent lower payment rate than those who proactively enrolled.
For more information on the AgriStability program, go to https://bit.ly/3y4mT9A.
Community Futures Regional Business Liaison personnel are available to assist ranchers with questions and paperwork, and can help with identifying the supports that are available. Call Arnice Asquin at (604) 793-8124 or Andre Kuerbis at (250) 217-6438 for direct, one-on-one help.
The BC Cattlemen’s Association is in discussions with the government, and anticipates that there will be support programs similar to those that have been seen in the past. In order to access these programs, ranchers will need documentation, and are encouraged to keep up-to-date logs or journals during the entire fire process.
Taking a few minutes each day, or every week, to document events will assist with accessing program opportunities for ranchers in need. Detail things such as dates, times, names, and locations; the number of animals moved; the number of animals doctored, etc. Taking pictures with date stamps is also a good way to document events related to wildfire.