B.C. has released details of its 2021 Canada-British Columbia Wildfire and Drought AgriRecovery Initiative, funded through a 60/40 cost share with the federal government.

Ranchers will be eligible for a cut of $20 million to help with extraordinary expenses they incur for feed, shelter, animal health and safety, and the transportation of their livestock as a result of this year’s wildfires and drought.

B.C.’s farmers may also be eligible for funding for extraordinary expenses including reseeding forage, and to replace fencing or other critical infrastructure that is not insurable and was damaged or destroyed in the fires, the province says. Beekeepers may also qualify for funding to replace colonies or apiary equipment lost in the wildfires.

“This year’s drought and fires have been incredibly difficult for many B.C. ranchers and farmers, and the B.C. government is here to help them keep their livelihoods and the province’s food security and economy moving forward,” says Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture. “The $20-million response package we’ve put together will help B.C. ranchers maintain their breeding stock, continue their operations and continue to supply British Columbians with food grown and raised in our province.”

Farmers and ranchers can apply for funding here.

The initiative may cover:

  • Extraordinary expenses caused by the wildfires and drought related to ensuring livestock feeding needs are not impacted due to feed loss or decreased availability;
  • Extraordinary expenses caused by the wildfires and drought related to ensuring animal health and safety;
  • Transportation costs to move impacted animals to a safe feeding location;
  • Feed for breeding livestock, including cattle, sheep and horses, based on a feed need requirement;
  • Contributions toward the re-establishment of tame perennial forage damaged by the fires;
  • Where breeding herds are reduced due to lack of forage, support for the herd management costs associated with replacement breeding animals;
  • Costs to replace apiaries, bee colonies and beekeeping equipment lost in the wildfires; and,
  • Costs to repair or replace critical infrastructure damaged by wildfire, not covered by insurance.

“The devastation to B.C. ranches, their livestock and operations from this year’s wildfires and drought has been extensive,” says Kevin Boon, general manager, BC Cattlemen’s Association. “Experience from past wildfires has not been lost on the government. The announcement of this comprehensive AgriRecovery program will go a long way to assisting producers in their efforts to re-establish their operations and help them recover from the effects of this year’s debilitating events.”

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