Nechako Valley Regional Cattlemens Association
The beef industry is the second largest industry in the Nechako Valley with just under $39 million in sales at the B.C. Livestock Sale Yard in Vanderhoof in 2015. The Nechako Valley Regional Cattlemens Association plays a large role in this success, with its support of the cattle industry.
Vanderhoof Farm and Ranch History
Farming and ranching was Vanderhoof, BCs first industry once European settlers colonized British Columbia, with most local farms and ranches being located on the unceded and occupied traditional territory of the Saik’uz First Nation.
Upon completion of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway advertisements and promotional materials detailing the fertile soil and optimal climate of the Nechako Valley drew interest from around the world. Early settlers P.H. Neufeld, Thomas Dodd and Sam Milne detailed their success in letters written in 1910 – 1920.
Nechako Valley Regional Cattlemens Association AGM
The Nechako Valley Regional Cattlemen’s Association AGM will be held on February 24, 2018 at the Elk’s Hall in Vanderhoof at 474 Victoria Street.
The tradeshow begins at noon, followed by the AGM at 1:00 p.m., dinner at 6:00 p.m. and entertainment “So you want to date my daughter” by motivational speaker and environmental advocate award-winner Bruce Vincent.
The AGM is open to the public, no membership or cattle ownership required.
About the Nechako Regional Cattlemens Association
The Nechako Valley Regional Cattlemen’s Association encompasses the Cluculz Lake Livestock Association, the Fort Fraser Livestock Association, the Sinkut Mountain Cattlemens Association, the Punchaw Cattlemens Association.
In addition to supporting local farms and ranches and the cattle industry, the Nechako Valley Regional Cattlemens Association encourages youth to explore the agriculture industry through a partnership with School District #91 to offer Project Agriculture, and scholarships for Nechako Valley Secondary School graduates.
The three-day Project Agriculture program, offered by the Nechako Regional Cattlemens Association and School District #91 provides 24 students with a variety of hands on experiences. In 2017, Nechako Valley Secondary School students participated in:
- A half-day vet clinic with veterinary and farrier demonstrations
- A half-day at the B.C. Livestock yard working with cattle – branding, tagging, castrating and vaccinating, a tour of the yard and a mock auction
- Two days of demonstrations including equipment handling, truck driving, dairy operations, horsemanship lessons and cattle handling.
The Nechako Valley Regional Cattlemens Association has been working hard to secure a stable, affordable supply of shavings. Shavings for bedding make for comfortable, cleaner cattle which are healthier, less stressed and able to gain weight easier. Clean cattle reduce the risk of e-coli contamination as the mother’s milk bag is cleaner and calves are kept warm and dry.
Through 2017 NVRCA directors worked on this issue with local, regional and provincial government officials, the British Columbia Cattlemens Association, the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources, the logging industry and Vanderhoof, Fraser Lake, Fort St. James Community Forests.
The scarcity and rising price of shavings has escalated as more pellet plants and bio-energy projects have become active in the region. Shavings, once a by-product of the forest industry with no financial value, are now a very competitive market and prices have steadily increased.
Environment and Water Stewardship
When informed of better water stewardship practices the Nechako Valley Regional Cattlemens Association agreed to undertake restoration and preventative measures to protect the Nechako Watershed. Cattlemen have been progressive in recognizing the need to protect stream banks from erosion by fencing cattle away from stream banks and hardening crossings to reduce erosion and sediment deposition.
Workshops and Professional Development
The Nechako Valley Regional Cattlemens Association keeps members informed of initiatives, funding opportunities and workshops and professional development opportunities that will support member success. The Association was active in supporting members during the 2017 Wildfire season and in advocating for government support for those impacted.
On February 23, Farm Credit Canada will bring the “Trends and Trade Opportunities in Beef Markets” and “Communicating for Results: Practical Tools for Success on Your Farm” workshops to Vanderhoof, BC.
Remember – history plays an important role in reconciliation. To build for the future, Canadians must know their history, acknowledge it and learn from it. Think, how can Vanderhoof history be told differently, to reflect the original occupants, the Dakelh people? Recognizing that the Nechako Valley was already settled before Europeans arrived is an important step.