The City of West Kelowna retained Upland Agricultural Consulting in conjunction with Bench Site Design to develop a farm business feasibility assessment for eight parcels of under-utilized farmland in the ALR. These adjoining parcels had historically grown apples but were now sitting vacant. Upland analyzed agricultural scenarios for economically-driven production on the sites, including improve access alternatives for new farmers. The market opportunities analysis focused on the following three possible scenarios: community food hub with mixed vegetables and herb production; apple orchard and associated cidery; and cherry production for local and export sales.
Boundary Area Food and Agriculture Plan - Regional District of Kootenay Boundary
Upland Agricultural Consulting collaborated with Janine de la Salle (Urban Food Strategies) and Abra Brynne (Peeling the Onion Consulting) and the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary to update the 2011 Agriculture Plan. The resulting 2018 Boundary Area Food and Agriculture Plan expands the original scope to include food systems and food security. A key aspect of creating the plan was engaging stakeholders and the public in crafting a vision, describing challenges, and identifying potential opportunities for the regional food and agriculture system. Multiple engagement methods were used, including online and mail-in surveys; farm visits; public open houses; and stakeholder meetings. The plan sets out agriculture and food system goals, objectives, and the associated recommended actions with in the Boundary area. In total, 107 actions are included, along with a detailed implementation strategy. This plan also contains a proposed Boundary Area Food and Agriculture Charter and Report Card to help establish common ground for plan implementation and monitor progress towards goals.
Regional District of Nanaimo Electoral Area ‘H’ ALR Boundary Review: Preliminary Analysis
The Regional District of Nanaimo requested the services of Upland Agricultural Consulting Ltd. to investigate whether or not the boundary of the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) warrants some adjustment within Electoral Area ‘H’. This report presents a set of criteria through which agricultural land within Electoral Area ‘H’ was analyzed, on a subarea basis, to answer questions regarding the integrity of the boundary of the ALR. In particular, the investigation served to identify knowledge gaps, determine the possibility for the Regional District to pursue a block exclusion application, and to provide other recommendations regarding ALR decision-making in Electoral Area ‘H’.
Upland Agricultural Consulting was contracted to update the City of Kelowna’s Agriculture Plan. The new plan is a strategy and policy framework document which considers agriculture within the current regulatory context and attempts to identify and anticipate future changes and challenges. The plan included specific recommended actions to revise and enhance the Official Community Plan, zoning bylaw, and Development Permit Areas for Farmland Protection. The updated Agriculture Plan is an important opportunity for the City of Kelowna and the agricultural sector to work towards shared goals for success (2016-2017).
Regional District of North Okanagan Regional Agricultural Plan
The Regional Agricultural Plan was initiated in early 2013 as a priority Regional Growth Strategy (RGS). This Plan is the culmination of a Background Report, Market Opportunities Analysis, and extensive consultation with the agricultural community. The Background Report presented an overview of the regional context, results of the Agricultural Land Use Inventory (ALUI), Census of Agriculture analysis, community consultation and issue identification. The Market Opportunities Analysis provided a high-level assessment of opportunities and challenges facing the North Okanagan agricultural sector. This Plan combines that information with feedback from the community to present a vision statement, key priorities and recommended actions towards planning for agriculture in the North Okanagan. It also includes an overview of potential pilot projects, an implementation strategy, monitoring and evaluation framework, and a list of funding opportunities.
Squamish Lillooet Regional District Area B Agricultural Plan
This Agricultural Plan is unique amongst agricultural plans in BC in that it was developed with extensive input from local indigenous community members. Significant input was also gathered from agricultural community stakeholders and the public - this is a plan made for and by the community.
In 2016, the Agricultural Plan was recognized with a Real Estate Foundation of BC Land Award (Public Sector category) for excellence in land use planning. Download the News Release, and check out the video below to learn more about the planning process.
The plan provides a vision statement, key priorities and recommended actions towards planning for agriculture in the SLRD Area B, District of Lillooet, and Northern St’at’imc territory. It also includes an implementation strategy with performance indicators to monitor and a list of funding opportunities.
Growing Our Future Together: Regional District of Nanaimo Agricultural Area Plan
The development of an Agricultural Area Plan (AAP) for the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) was initiated in early 2011 and was jointly funded by the RDN and the Investment in Agriculture Foundation of BC (IAF) through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the BC Ministry of Agriculture. The objectives of the AAP were to provide clear and implementable recommended actions towards the goal of enhancing local food production in the RDN.
Upland Agricultural Consulting worked alongside AEL Agroecological consulting on the development of a Denman Island Farm Plan. The project was initiated in 2009 as a priority of the Denman Island Local Trust Committee, and later part of the Islands Trust Council 2008-11 Strategic Plan, in order to "support socio-economic diversity of island communities".
Farming has always held a strong place in Denman Island history and is characterized by diverse, small-scale production. Currently, the economic contribution of farming to the region is marginal with gross farm receipts and farm revenues decreasing. Concerns such as a limited consumer base, transportation costs, high land prices, and lack of processing facilities have had a significant impact on the ability of local farmers to be economically viable.
The Denman Island Agriculture Strategy provides an agricultural history, land use inventory, and summary of stakeholder engagement.
The Denman Island Farm Plan provides recommendations to enhance and preserve farming on the island and work towards increased farm production that is both sustainable and resilient.
The Sunshine Coast Agricultural Area Plan (Ag Plan) was a three-stage project initiated in early 2012, jointly funded by the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) and the Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC (IAF) through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the BC Ministry of Agriculture. Supporting local governments included the District of Sechelt, Town of Gibsons, Sechelt Indian Band, and Islands Trust (Gambier Island Local Trust Area).
Over-arching goals for the Ag Plan were initially identified as follows:
1. Identify opportunities to strengthen farming and develop agriculture as an economic driver;
2. Increase the amount of, and access to, locally grown and produced food;
3. Build resilience in communities against rising costs of food, climate change and peak oil;
4. Develop clear policies that serve to protect, preserve and promote agriculture while preserving the rural character of the Sunshine Coast.
The overall objective of this Plan was to enable the SCRD and other local governments, community stakeholders and partners to identify, advance and prioritize opportunities for growth in agriculture on the Sunshine Coast, both within its agricultural sector, communities, and cultural fabric.
One of the unique aspects of this project was to develop a video that highlighted some success stories of farming and sustainable food systems on the Coast.
The Smart Farm Project is an exploration of collaborative innovations between the public, private and community driven sectors with the goal of catalyzing small farms and providing affordable housing for the younger generation of farmers Canada . Specifically, the Smart Farm Project explored whether increased density on lots outside the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) using low footprint cluster designs could play a pivotal role in attracting young farmers and catalyzing new farms across BC and Canada.
Upland Agricultural Consulting was contracted to select four case study properties that reflected a diversity of geography, ownership and potential farm yield. The team then collaborated on a Smart Farm proposal for each property, including:
legal recommendations; and
a feasibility analysis.
The case study approach allowed the team to explore this innovation using real land, real people and real numbers across a spectrum of potential Smart Farm proposals, from the unconventional co-operative driven model through to the more conventional developer-driven one.