Agriculture Support Program Recognized

Agriculture is a critical part of the economy in the Central Okanagan, but in recent years a range of issues have impacted the ability of local farm operators to derive income from their land. In response, the Regional District of Central Okanagan’s Economic Development Commission (EDC) created the Agriculture Support Program to provide business support to local farms. This program is a 2017 winner of a Community Excellence Award.

The Agriculture Support Program is based on best practices identified from organizations around the world, but is a one-of-a-kind initiative in B.C. The program provides site visits and mentorship, agri-tourism business development, educational seminars and targeted media to increase the profile of local agriculture.

The EDC has made all of their program resources available online in response to inquiries from communities across the province looking to develop similar programs within their own jurisdictions.

The Community Excellence Awards profile best practices in local government to inspire other communities to take risks to innovate, establish new partnerships and pioneer new customer service practices.   

The Agriculture Support Program was the winner for the category Leadership & Innovation: Agriculture, which recognizes local governments who have adopted innovative and progressive policies, practices and/or regulations to strengthen agriculture in their community.

An honourable mention in this category was awarded to the City of Abbotsford for Think Local. Think Abbotsford. Taste of Abby Week.

This program is focused on increasing the demand for locally grown, raised and processed agrifood products within Abbotsford by combining discounts on products made with local ingredients with newspaper, radio and social media promotional campaigns.

In 2017, over 50 businesses participated and numerous promotional activities took place during the Taste of Abbey Week.  To learn more about the program, visit the City of Abbotsford Economic Development website.

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