Small ranches and livestock farms in B.C. are getting help to meet upcoming national livestock traceability requirements that will help track livestock movements in the event of an animal health investigation, and also offer the opportunity for ranchers to reach new customers who focus on the awareness and promotion of where they source their food.
The governments of Canada and British Columbia have partnered to fund the Livestock Tag Reader Rebate Program to help small ranchers trace and document the movement of their animals throughout the food chain. The program will cover 70% of the costs of equipment, up to $3,500, that beef, pork, sheep, goat and venison producers will need to adhere to federal traceability protocols. Up to $100,000 of program funding will be available to small producers in 2017-18.
Eligible equipment includes verified readers for radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, which are applied to an animal’s ear, as well as the installation of related software and training for hand-held or panel readers. The traceability process provides verified tracking of individual animals from the ranch to the abattoir, which offers interested retail operators the opportunity to promote exactly where their meat has come from. Program applicants must be B.C. livestock producers that are registered in the BC Premises Identification Program.
The program targets livestock operations that have generated less than $30,000 in annual farm receipts for each of the previous two years, to help small livestock producers comply with anticipated federal government traceability regulations. Operators of larger ranches and livestock operations can access funding to implement traceability systems, including support for tag-reader purchase through the ministry’s On-Farm Food Safety and Traceability Program.
The program is one of the ways the B.C. government is taking action to strengthen, grow and diversify rural communities and will build on the immediate investments and long-term action plan outlined in B.C.’s Rural Economic Development Strategy which are expected to create over 26,000 jobs and add $2.8 billion to provincial GDP. The Livestock Tag Reader Rebate Program is funded through Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative that provides a $3-billion investment over five years in innovation, competitiveness and market development.
For additional information and applications for the new program, visit: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content?id=4A1089794FEE45918C40AF1FB7E6567D
BC Premises ID Program: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content?id=63C5A7EF19A143249D2FE3BED39CAA7D
On-Farm Food Safety and Traceability Program: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/agriculture-seafood/programs/food-safety/on-farm-food-safety
The Ministry of Agriculture’s AgriService BC connects B.C. agrifood and seafood companies with the services and experts they are looking for. AgriService BC can be reached at 1 888 221-7141: AgriServiceBC@gov.bc.ca, and www.gov.bc.ca/agriservicebc
The B.C. government’s Rural Economic Development Strategy: https://bcjobsplan.gov.bc.ca/b-c-s-rural-economic-development-strategy/
For more information on Growing Forward 2 programs in British Columbia, visit: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/agriculture-seafood/programs/growing-forward-2
For more information on Growing Forward 2, visit: http://www.agr.gc.ca/eng/about-us/key-departmental-initiatives/growing-forward-2/