Ranchers in the Cariboo-Chilcotin will have help feeding their livestock this winter following forage loss due to flooding in summer and fall 2019.
“Ranchers are synonymous with the Cariboo, and the B.C. government is doing more to support their recovery from this year’s floods, just like we did from the wildfires in 2017 and 2018,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture. “Ministry staff were on the ground in Big Creek, helping assess impacted properties shortly after the floodwater subsided this July, and since then have been in ongoing discussions with the Cariboo Cattlemen Association, the BC Cattleman's Association, the Cariboo Regional District and more than 20 impacted producers in the area to see how we can best help. This additional support we’re providing will keep cattle fed and ranches operating this winter, support communities and business in the Cariboo-Chilcotin, and result in more great tasting B.C. beef on our tables in 2020.”
The 2019 BC Forage and Transportation Assistance Initiative will provide assistance ($45.50 per ton of hay) towards the purchase of additional hay for Cariboo ranchers who are required to purchase more than they normally would. In addition, where ranchers find it more economically viable to move animals to alternative feed sources rather than transport purchased feed home, assistance with the freight costs for moving the animals will be provided. This assistance is in addition to production insurance claims.
Ranchers who experienced feed losses due to this year’s flooding and have ordered additional forage to feed their livestock can apply for support by calling 1 888 332-3352 or visiting: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/agriculture-seafood/programs/2019-forage-and-transportation-assistance-initiative
“After a very trying summer and fall in 2019, this freight top-up will help lessen the burden on ranchers in the Cariboo-Chilcotin who are faced with unprecedented losses of fall grazing and winter hay shortages due to flooding,” said Cordy Cox, president, Cariboo Cattlemen's Association. “I appreciate the efforts made by Minister Popham and her ministry. This program could be the difference of many ranches remaining viable for the future or having to sell out.”
B.C. government staff have been working with multiple stakeholders and more than 20 impacted producers in the area since the first flooding in July and began processing claims for producers that had insured their crops as soon as claims arrived. The additional assistance, estimated to be several hundred thousand dollars, is designed to offer more support to help ranchers through this winter and a challenging feeding period.