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First grants totalling more than $200,000 awarded to Peace Region agricultural projects; 2020 application intake now open

FORT ST. JOHN – Northern Development Initiative Trust today announced that seven Peace Region agricultural projects will receive $209,086 in funding through the BC Hydro Peace Agricultural Compensation Fund.

The $20-million fund was established in 2018 to support agricultural priorities, such as production and related economic activity, in the Peace Region. The fund reflects BC Hydro’s recognition of the role agriculture plays in the Peace River region and the potential effects of the Site C project on agriculture. The fund is governed by a regional decision-making board and administered by Northern Development Initiative Trust.

The recipients and projects announced today are the first to be awarded grants from the Peace Agricultural Compensation Fund. Up to $250,000 was available for distribution in 2019.

The application intake for 2020 is now open. The amount available for 2020 is another $250,000, plus the $40,914 that was not awarded this year.

The following recipients and projects received 2019 Agricultural Compensation Fund grants:

  • B.C. Grain Producers Association – $100,000 to research the viability of crops in the Peace Region. This project supports the development of varieties of grains and oilseeds suitable to growing conditions in the Peace Region.
  • Northern Environmental Action Team – $27,112 for a Northern Cohort Extension and Outreach Program that provides educational opportunities for alternative agricultural production in the Peace Region.
  • RDR Ventures Ltd. – $25,209 to expand the irrigation system at Rainey Ranch. Expansion will allow water to reach all areas of the ranch, which will improve grazing and allow the ranch to raise a greater number of livestock.
  • Ardills Ranch Ltd. – $25,000 to build a wildlife control fence. This project will enable the ranch to keep and protect cattle feed; thus allowing them to feed more stock and increase the production of locally raised beef.
  • Blackbird Environmental Ltd. – $24,140 to establish a drone field school program to provide agricultural producers with basic drone skill training. Drone systems can be used in a wide range of agricultural applications for monitoring their fields, such as informing producers where problem areas are and where additional management techniques may be required.
  • Don Titus Parent Advisory Council in Chetwynd – $5,625 to implement an agricultural education program for students in Kindergarten to Grade 7, designed to generate interest in the agriculture industry. Students will be exposed to the unique experience of gardening in northern B.C.
  • Peace River Regional 4-H Council – $2,000 to provide an opportunity for youth communication and leadership training in agriculture-related projects. The training is focused around the following main themes: raising livestock and livestock projects, food production and preparation, pasture management and practices and climate change topics.

More information on the fund and application details can found be at and


Nancy Pepper, Community and Social Mitigation Manager, BC Hydro
“BC Hydro appreciates the board and Northern Development Initiative Trust’s hard work in setting up the fund for success. With the board’s diverse agricultural knowledge guiding the fund, the projects selected in this first intake will benefit the resilience of Peace Region agricultural producers.”

Rick Kantz, Chair, BC Hydro Peace Agricultural Compensation Fund Board
“The board is happy with the quality of applications that were submitted. These seven projects are all diverse and will all benefit the economy in the Peace Region in their own unique ways.”

Joel McKay, CEO, Northern Development Initiative Trust 
“Northern Development Initiative Trust is pleased with the initial intake and with the high caliber of projects that have been approved. We look forward to seeing these projects come to fruition while we work with BC Hydro and the board to grow the agriculture sector in the Peace Region.” 

Media contact:

Holly Plato
Director, Communications and Marketing
Northern Development Initiative Trust
[email protected]