FARMED Chair Heloise Dixon-Warren
A message from the Opportunities & Beyond Chair
Greetings! On behalf of FARMED and the Opportunities 2022 & Beyond Committee, we are pleased to announce that the site that will “Connect Consumers with Producers” has gone live. “AgriConnect” as it is known went live on June 24th and FARMED celebrated the site's completion through a Soft Launch at the Quesnel Farmers Market.
The completion of this website began with a vision and it is so exciting to see this goal be realised. The project began 2 years ago with FARMED holding a survey requesting input from members and the community as to what would be of value to the community that fits within the mandate of FARMED. An item given top priority was the development of an online tool that would support producers, connect producers with consumers, and ultimately take FARMED's successful Farm Product Guide online! 24 months later, a time full of brainstorming, discussions, grant writing, presentations to potential partners, news releases, perseverance, and likely well over 1000 hours of volunteer time, FARMED is thrilled to invite the community to visit AgriConnect! Note that AgriConnect is living and additional content will be added on an ongoing basis. We want the site to be a valuable resource that the greater North Cariboo community will use. FARMED will be further developing the site by adding information to the “Agriculture Resources” along with incorporating Stories and Videography. On that note, if you wish to submit a story or video and /or connect with one of our “Story Tellers” for a story / article to be written, please contact FARMED. FARMED is also wanting to incorporate information pertaining to indigenous plants that are traditionally and /or culturally significant to the First Nation communities within the North Cariboo. Another benefit of this site is that producers and non-profits who sign up for a listing, whether it is basic or extended, can update their listings as needed. FARMED is also hoping to expand the non-profit section to ensure it is as comprehensive as possible.
AgriConnect is just one of several components of the “Opportunities 2022 & Beyond” Project. Other parts of the project include FARMED hosting a Round Table that will support the development of linkages across the geographic area from Clinton to Fort St. James / Fraser Lake with a focus on food security and the refurbishment of the “North Cariboo - Grown for You” 12’ x 16’ billboard signage along Hwy. 97 north and south of Quesnel. FARMED will also be hosting 3 workshops and 2 tours under the Knowledge and Technology Transfer Program (Ministry of Agriculture) that will focus on the following: Market Garden Root Cellar / Cold Storage Tour; Wildfire Resilience for Agriculture Producers Tour; Vending at BC Farmers Markets; Adding Value to your Produce through Processing and Preservation; and Farm to Consumer - Rules for Compliant Production.
Since the initiating the “Opportunities 2022 & Beyond” Project, membership with FARMED has increased by over 165%. Membership is now at 40 members with the majority of them regionally based agriculture producers (farms and ranches). From our perspective, this is a true indicator of the value of the project. If you wish to join FARMED and /or learn about the benefits of membership, please check out www.farmed.ca
The success of “Opportunities 2022 & Beyond” and the development of AgriConnect is based upon not only a vision but the dedication of a core group of volunteers who have met not only every 2 weeks but often more frequently to keep the project on track. The value of these people’s in-kind contribution is immeasurable. FARMED is also very thankful for our partners and funders who also saw the value in the project. This includes Integris Credit Union, Northern Development Initiative Trust, Cariboo Regional District (North Cariboo Economic Development), Community Futures North Cariboo, Quesnel Community Foundation and most recently, Ministry of Agriculture. FARMED also appreciate the expertise and contribution made by Q’est Management Consulting for their support with AgriConnect and ABC Web Link for creating AgriConnect.
As a long time member of FARMED, it is exciting be involved with an organisation that has such dedication, is innovative and supportive with members that have such amazing skill sets.
Moose Meadows Farm
Opportunities 2022 & Beyond Committee Chair