In the Community

This section provides information for Peace Region residents, Aboriginal groups, communities and property owners.

BC Hydro Peace Agricultural Compensation Fund

As part of the Site C Agricultural Mitigation and Compensation Plan, BC Hydro has established a $20 million fund to support agricultural production and related economic activity in the Peace Region.

The BC Hydro Peace Agricultural Compensation Fund is governed by a regional decision-making board, responsible for overseeing the management and disbursement of the fund.

The 10-member board is comprised of six members that are appointees of regional agricultural associations or the Peace River Regional District (PRRD), one member who is a Peace River Valley agricultural producer and three members-at-large.

The three members-at-large are all agricultural producers in the B.C. Peace Region and were appointed for different length terms, to ensure that one member-at-large position is open each year.

The Agricultural Fund is administered by Northern Development Initiative Trust on behalf of BC Hydro. Applications for funding are accepted on an ongoing basis and funds are distributed on a bi-annual basis.

The board and Northern Development Initiative Trust worked together in fall 2018 to develop a financial management plan for the fund, with a goal of preserving the $20 million capital investment and using investment returns for grants for the first five years.

To apply, visit the Northern Development Initiative Trust website.

As of December 2021, $1,288,061 in funding has been approved for 53 projects.

Recent award recipients

December 2021

On December 2, 2021, Northern Development Initiative Trust announced the recipients of the fifth round of BC Hydro Peace Agricultural Compensation Fund grants.

  • BC Grain Producers Association for the Peace Region field research project which aims to improve the sustainability of farms in the region
  • Venator Ranches Ltd. in Hudson’s Hope for a slaughter, cut and wrap facility that will allow for an increase in the harvest of beef and bison in the Peace Region
  • Muddy Creek Livestock Ltd. in Pouce Coupe for a livestock goat handling system
  • Allison and Marty Mackay in Taylor for the Peace Region Farm Store which will allow local farmers to sell their produce and allow consumers to purchase a variety of locally produced farm goods in one central location
  • North Peace 4-H District Council for a beef announcer booth
  • Chetwynd Public Library Association for community gardening literacy
  • Wollen Sons Ranch Ltd. for winter watering and shelters
  • Wallace and Pam Boring for ranch fencing
  • Fort St. John Association for Community Living for growing connections aquaponics
  • Joseph Fellers for Cecil Lake Haskap Orchard wildlife fence
  • Shaun Cusack for the Sweet Hills Ranch Vermicast farm
  • Rafter LT Ranch for water securement
  • Carol Nelson for a sheep pasture and handling system
  • Niklaus and Therese Rubin for pasture expansion
  • Peace River Forage Association of B.C. for knowledge for resilience in the Peace
  • Rafter H Holdings Ltd. for fencing
  • Tea Creek Farms Ltd. for grain dryer capacity upgrades
  • Simon Loewen for grain cleaning equipment
  • Wesland Electric and Controls Inc. (D.B.A. Rafter WL Ranch) for high efficiency grain drying installation

March 2021

On March 23, 2021, Northern Development Initiative Trust announced the recipients of the fourth round of BC Hydro Peace Agricultural Compensation Fund grants.

  • Jody Watson for the construction of a commercial kitchen to make preserved and pickled products sold to local retail stores in the Peace Region
  • Gary and Kathy Ackles for the production of shrub berries and root vegetables on Sweetwater Farm
  • Eric Hanna for a fence and greenhouse on Hanna Acres
  • Suzan Lapp for a riparian and stream protection project
  • David Braun for a pasture rebuild
  • Rustic Market Garden for a high tunnel cold frame construction
  •  Wollen Sons Ranch Ltd. for cattle handling expansion
  • Beaton Hills Orchard for expansion 
  • Summit Acre Farms Ltd. to relocate a harvester silo

On December 15, 2020, Northern Development Initiative Trust announced the recipients of the third round of BC Hydro Peace Agricultural Compensation Fund grants.

  • University of British Columbia Faculty of Land and Food Systems for their research project about crop disease and pathogens affecting cereal crops in the Peace Region
  • Boreal Gardens for the installation of a 510 square foot dome greenhouse on the Indigenous-owned farm in Charlie Lake
  • Nordic Vale Honey Farm for the purchase of upgraded honey and wax processing equipment
  • Paul and Tatjana Melling for a wildlife fencing project
  • Darren Van Horn for a greenhouse project
  • MT Ranch for a water enhancement project
  • Derek Youngman for a cattle fencing project
  • Northern Environmental Action Team for its northern cohort market garden extension program 
  • Chetwynd Public Library Association for a community gardening literacy project

On March 30, 2020, Northern Development Initiative Trust announced the recipients of the second round of BC Hydro Peace Agricultural Compensation Fund grants.

  • Kathleen Peck for the Canadian Acres Regenerative Agriculture Start-up project
  • Caitlin Vince for the Rustic Pantry, Farm-to-Table store start-up costs
  • Eden Greens Inc. for developing an indoor growing facility
  • Summit Acre Farms Ltd. for its Pulse Processing Feasibility study
  • North Peace Cattlemen’s Association for the 2020 BC Cattlemen’s Conference and AGM
  • Peace River Forage Seed Association of BC for its Forage Extension and Mentorship project
  • Peace Region Forage Seed Association for its Weather Monitoring Network Enhancement project
  • North Peace 4-H District Council for upgrades to the North Peace Fair Grounds beef show ring facilities
  • Hasberry Farms Inc. for its Bird Control-Pollination Trial for Commercial Haskap Production project

On December 2, 2019, Northern Development Initiative Trust announced the first recipients of BC Hydro Peace Agricultural Compensation Fund grants.

  • B.C. Grain Producer’s Association for its Viability of Crops in the Peace Region research project
  • Blackbird Environmental Ltd. to establish the Peace Region Agricultural Drone Field School program
  • Northern Environmental Action Team for its Northern Co-Hort Extension and Outreach Program
  • Peace River Regional 4-H Council for its Leadership Training program in agriculture-related projects
  • Ardills Ranch Ltd. to build a wildlife control fence
  • RDR Ventures Ltd to expand the irrigation system at Rainey Ranch
  • Don Titus Parent Advisory Council in Chetwynd to implement an Agricultural Education program for students K–7

2020-2021 Board Members

Rick Kantz, B.C. Grain Producers Association
Heather Fossum, Peace River Forage Association of B.C.
Howard Goertz, Peace River Regional Cattlemen's Association
Connie Patterson, B.C. Breeder and Feeder Association
Blair Hill, Peace Region Forage Seed Association
Angela Watson, Peace River Regional District
Travis Winnicky, member-at-large
Malcolm Odermatt, member-at-large
Gene Gladysz, member-at-large
Colin Meek, Peace River Valley agricultural producer