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Ask a Vet tonight, Cowichan Valley Forage demo and more!

Re-post from our friends at the BC Ministry of Agriculture & Food


Hello farmers & supporters,

There are already a couple more events to tell you about since last week's email, and a poster for the poultry workshop in Coombs is attached.  Here’s the list of what’s coming up:


  • BC Poultry Health Network is hosting in-person and virtual extension events.  Find out more or request a local in-person event at Coming Events – BC Poultry Health Network. This project was funded through the Farmed Animal Disease Program, which is funded by the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Agriculture and Food and delivered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC.  Here’s the highlights:

  • Virtual ‘Ask a Vet’ sessions monthly, the next is Tonight- March 7th Meeting Registration - Zoom

  • March 23, 2024 Coombs Small Flock Poultry Workshop:  Join us for a day of learning about small flock poultry health, management, disease, and biosecurity- poster is attached, register here: March 23, 2024 Coombs Small Flock Poultry Workshop Survey (

  • Monthly information webinars- next is on Biosecurity with Dr. Victoria Bowes,  March 28th at 6:30pm–visit Webinar Registration - Zoom  

  • BC Tourism Climate Resiliency Initiative (BCTCRI) is accepting applications for free one-on-one business planning and project implementation of climate initiatives. Agri-tourism businesses are eligible under this program. Accepting first come first served applications until March 8, 2024. For information about the fund and the application process please visit:   If you have any questions about the fund, please contact the BCFFE Team at the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport by email at:

  • 2024 Cowichan Valley Forage Field Day Crop Demonstration Knowledge Transfer Event in Cowichan Valley, March 14th, 11am-2:30pm.  The event is free but please register by March 12th.  Visit Common Hosted Forms ( for info and registration, or Contact Graeme Fowler ( for details.

  • Funding applications for another stage of the Beneficial Management Practices Program (BMP) are opening Feb 27th for spring 2024 projects!  Beneficial Management Practices Program – Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC ( 

  • The Canada goose breeding season is fast approaching!  CRD has launched their Goose Management Service for non-migratory geese.   This year they are creating an in-house addling program and will be hiring an auxiliary staff member to assist with implementation. They are also engaging with the First Nations guardians’ to further increase addling capacity this year. The coordinator, Samantha Hammond, is in the process of collecting information on potential locations to focus their addling efforts. Anyone in the CRD, interested in goose egg addling work on their property this year is asked to contact her at as soon as possible.


  • The first cases of chronic wasting disease (CWD) have been detected in British Columbia, found in two deer samples from the Kootenay Region - see the BC Government News Release here:  This news release provides information about the provincial response efforts and what to do if you see a deer, elk, moose or caribou  (collectively called ‘cervids’) exhibiting any symptoms – weight loss, drooling, poor co-ordination, stumbling, or generally sick with no obvious reason.  Please note, B.C.’s Chief Veterinarian, Dr. Theresa Burns provides the following information for livestock producers in B.C.:

  • CWD does not naturally infect cattle, horses, sheep, goats, pigs, or other non-cervid livestock.

  • Practices that may attract cervids (e.g., open hay storage, grain feeding, salt licks) can increase disease transmission rates in cervids, and increase environmental contamination and create disease hot-spots. Therefore it is important that producers feed livestock in a manner that minimizes wildlife access.

  • It is possible that CWD could spread to new areas through transport of contaminated hay and feed material. If it is suspected that feed material may be contaminated by cervid urine, feces, or carcass materials, and is from an area where CWD has been detected, it should not be transported out of the immediate area.   

  • Producers, particularly those in the Kootenay region, should please report any abnormal or sick cervids on their properties to the 24/7 Report All Poachers and Polluters Line (1 877 952-7277) or the B.C. Wildlife Health Program: 250-751-7246

  • Islands Agriculture Show session recordings are now available!  If you registered for IAS, you should have received an email on February 22nd with a link to log in to the Pheedloop site and watch the videos.  Please also provide your feedback on the IAS in general and any of the sessions- this feedback is so helpful for us to plan session topics and the event for next year!  You can let us know your thoughts through Pheedloop or on the survey here: 


The next Islands Edition e-newsletter is planned for April.  Please feel free to send me locally relevant agricultural events and news for circulation on the Islands Edition, by email, or to post to our AgriService Facebook page!  These newsletters are also posted here:  seafood/agricultural-land-and-environment/agricultural-regions/vancouver-island, folks can subscribe here:   *note they often go to spam so please check your spam, add to your safe senders list if you have subscribed and didn’t get it!   

I do my best to get the word out on locally relevant opportunities for producers.  Please forward this email to your members and colleagues for distribution. 

Take care,



Megan Halstead, P. Ag. (she/her) – South Island Regional Agrologist

BC Ministry of Agriculture & Food - Extension & Support Services Branch

Office phone: (250) 978-9727

Find agriculture resources at

Contact AgriServiceBC at 1-888-221-7141 │

Sign up for the AgriService e-Bulletin

Sign up for the Vancouver Island Edition


With gratitude, I live, work and play on the unceded traditional territories of the peoples of the Pacheedaht First Nation, T’Sou-ke First Nation, Scia’new, Esquimalt Nation, Songhees Nation, Tsawout First Nation, Tsartlip, Pauquachin, Tseycum and the Malahat First Nation.

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