Commercial livestock producers in British Columbia affected by the recent floods are receiving support to buy immediate emergency supplies of forage food to keep their animals fed and healthy.
“B.C. livestock producers are resilient by nature, but we recognize what a challenging year it’s been for them as they’ve had to recover from the heat dome, wildfires and now floods,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries. “This program will help ensure livestock producers in B.C. can take care of their animals with enough hay and forage to fill an immediate need.”
The flooding affected a significant number of commercial livestock operations in the Fraser Valley and Interior regions of B.C. Many operations had their hay and forage supply already reduced by events in the summer of 2021, including the heat dome and wildfires. The Emergency Flood Forage Program is providing up to $1 million in funding from Emergency Management BC to help fill the immediate need of forage.
“With the devastation that the livestock sector has experienced this year, it is critical for producers to have the required feed they need to get through this challenging time and maintain livestock health,” said Garth Healey, Fraser Valley director, B.C. Forage Council. “We are pleased that the Province is providing the funding for this much-needed program and that the B.C. Forage Council can contribute to the emergency response in a meaningful way.”
Livestock producers in flooded areas have lost or had to use hay they had stored for the winter due to the emergency.
“Livestock producers in the Interior have endured a very stressful summer with first the fires and then the floods, so it is extremely important to us to work together with government to address the needs of the ranchers and farmers who have been hit hard by these events,” said Kevin Boon, general manager, BC Cattlemen’s Association. “The fires showed us the importance of getting feed to producers whose animals have been cut off from their normal feed supplies as soon as possible. Animal welfare is a top priority for our ranchers, and we welcome the adoption of the emergency feed program for the floods so that we can ensure that the livestock’s needs are looked after.”
The B.C. government is working in collaboration with the BC Cattlemen’s Association and the B.C. Forage Council to deliver this emergency program with the shared goal of assisting livestock producers to resume operations. Producers that are eligible for the program can contact the program partners to complete an application and assess their required need with:
- the B.C. Forage Council: firstname.lastname@example.org
- and the BC Cattlemen’s Association: email@example.com
- Hay will be purchased by the service providers on a per-farm basis, following application review, and delivered to farms. The program's intent is to fill an urgent need for hay and forage on affected commercial livestock operations.
- Information on the Emergency Flood Forage Program is available on the AgriService BC Flood Emergency Information page.
AgriService BC Flood Emergency Information: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/agriculture-seafood/agricultural-land-and-environment/water/flooding-emergency-resources
Stay informed about the AgriRecovery Program by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to receive an alert when the program is announced.