Farmers’ institutes in British Columbia are being recognized for the support they provide and the communities they serve throughout the province, advocating on behalf of farmers and promoting agriculture.
“On B.C. Farmers’ Institute Day, we recognize and celebrate the work the institutes do throughout the province and the role they’ve played in the industry’s rich agricultural history,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture. “For over 100 years, they have represented farmers in urban and rural B.C. communities and provided services that have helped create the vibrant and diverse agricultural industry that we see thriving today.”
Popham will join 45 representatives of farmers’ institutes from throughout the province in Richmond to proclaim Nov. 30, 2018, as B.C. Farmers’ Institute Day. This proclamation recognizes the role farmers’ institutes play in the province’s agricultural industry and celebrate the longstanding history of the institutes in regions all over British Columbia.
The representatives are also taking part in day-long discussions and workshops aimed at enabling B.C. farmers’ institutes (BCFI) to talk about common interests, challenges and opportunities.
“It’s very exciting that Nov. 30 is being recognized as B.C. Farmers’ Institute Day. For 120 years, the BCFI have been a voice in the agriculture industry,” said Renae Westlund, McBride Farmers’ Institute. “As members of a small, rural farmers' institute, we often feel isolated from the opportunities in the farming industry, but being able to come together and discuss our unique situations with other BCFI members from throughout the province is an excellent tool for developing new strategies for keeping our BCFI strong.”
B.C. farmers’ institutes strive to serve the needs of the local agricultural community, meeting to identify and address issues of interest and concern to local farms, farmers and agricultural stakeholders. Members sit on committees in the wider community, advocating for farmers’ interests at community, municipal, provincial and federal levels. They offer workshops, farm tours, professional development opportunities, farmers markets and social events to benefit farmers, farms, other agricultural stakeholders and the local community.
- British Columbia has 50 farmers’ institutes providing services to their members and supporting agricultural activities within the community to both farmers and non-farmers alike.
- One of the earliest farmers’ institutes was established in 1898 in the Alberni valley.
Link to proclamation: http://www.bclaws.ca/civix/document/id/proclamations/proclamations/BCFrmsInstDy2018
Learn more about B.C. farmers’ institutes: