MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard spoke about BC Agriculture Day in the Legislature

Today, MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard spoke about BC Agriculture Day in the Legislature. You can watch the video here, or read the transcript below.

K’ómoks. It means “the land of plenty” in the language of the K’ómoks people. This past Saturday many of our farmers at home got to showcase their food and food products to the Premier as he toured our bustling farmers market and Natural Pastures, a local cheese producer. These institutions exemplify the growing agricultural sector here in B.C.

Today is B.C. Agriculture Day. It’s a day for all of us to celebrate with farmers and ranchers in praise of B.C. agriculture. It provides good jobs, good food, and it boosts local economies throughout B.C. The province’s Grow B.C., Feed B.C. and Buy B.C. are helping new farmers get into farming, introducing local foods into institutions like hospitals and schools and growing markets for B.C. foods and food products.

There’s value in growing our important agricultural sector, which last year alone saw $3.2 billion in farm cash receipts, up 4 percent from the previous year. A focus on sustainability and food security is resulting in amazing transformations, with B.C.’s world-class new technologies providing solutions to major challenges like pest management and automation in greenhouses.

B.C.’s proximity to markets is a competitive advantage to help grow our agriculture, seafood and food-processing sectors. We all benefit as our high-quality food is appreciated throughout the world, allowing more B.C. products to hit our grocery store shelves.

On the other end of the spectrum, small-scale farmers and processors also add great value, as more and more people seek out local meats, produce and products. During the wildfire season last year, we saw how access to local food became a very real necessity. There’s so much to celebrate this B.C. Agriculture Day, so let’s eat B.C., drink B.C. and be merry, B.C.