Additional assistance to help Cariboo-Chilcotin ranchers through this winter and challenging feeding period has been announced.
The Ministry of Agriculture says it will provide $45.50 per ton of hay towards the purchase of additional hay for ranchers who are required to purchase more than they normally would following forage loss due to flooding.
“It’s been a lot of work but I’m really happy to share the announcement along with the Ministry of Agriculture today,” said Cordy Cox, President of the Cariboo Cattlemen’s Association.
“I definitely think that this is going to be a great help to the ranchers in our area; they’re in dire need of support for feed. A lot of them as you know due to the flooding have suffered a lot of losses of fall grazing let alone also a lot of hay that they usually store and feed in the winter to cattle.”
Minister Lana Popham says ministry staff were on the ground in Big Creek helping assess impacted properties shortly after the floodwater subsided, and have since then been in ongoing discussions with stakeholders and impacted producers in the area to see how they can best help.
“This additional support we’re providing will keep cattle fed and ranches operating this winter, support communities and business in the Cariboo-Chilcotin, and result in more great tasting B.C. beef on our tables in 2020,” Popham says.
The assistance could be the difference of many ranches remaining viable for the future or having to sell out according to Cox.
“There have been numerous ranches within the Cariboo Chilcotin that are actually reducing their herds this fall and winter due to having feed shortages, and it’s a really hard thing for the beef industry especially on our province as moving forward it really stifles our industry.”