COVID-19 Resources for Farmers

Financial Support for Losses Due to Wildfires, Heat, and Drought –  The governments of B.C. and Canada are providing financial support for B.C. farmers and ranchers who have suffered losses through wildfires, record heat and prolonged drought in 2021. The support is being delivered through several programs to help sustain farmers’ and ranchers’ livelihoods, family farms and contributions to the province’s food security.

Government of Canada COVID-19 Information Portal – COVID-19 specific programs for farmers, food processors and other businesses

AgriService BC Webinars – AgriService BC webinars help you keep up to date on current issues, overcome challenges, and achieve your business and production goals. Visit their website for access to previous webinars on topics ranging from farming practices to agribusiness, succession planning, risk management and marketing.

BC Agri-Business Planning Program – Applications for the B.C. Agri-Business Planning Program is now open to support producers and food processors through three business planning streams:

  1. Pilot Business Plan Coaching
  2. COVID-19 Business Recovery Planning (eligibility expanded to include seafood producers and processors)
  3. Specialized Business Planning Buy BC Partnership Program.

The Buy BC Partnership Program is one of the key elements of the enhanced Buy BC Program and is administered on behalf of the BC Ministry of Agriculture, Foods and Fisheries by IAF. The Program includes a licensing component and a cost-shared funding component.

COVID-19 Pandemic PHO Order Industrial Camps: What does it mean for BC’s agriculture and seafood industry? Questions and Answers.

COVID-19 Information for U-Pick Operations in BC – This document outlines information for U-pick farms to meet Provincial Health Officer (PHO) orders, notices and guidance.

Digital Marketing Bootcamp – As part of StrongerBC: BC’s Economic Recovery Plan, government has invested $2 million to fund up to 2,500 seats in the Digital Marketing Bootcamp. The boot camp is free for small and medium-sized businesses with one to 149 employees, and sole proprietors. To be eligible, a business must be B.C.-based and registered to do business in B.C. Enrolment is open until the end of March 2021. Each seat has an educational value of $6,000. The boot camp runs for eight weeks, covering 40 key topics offered by 10 expert mentors.

Find a Farmers Market in your Area – Farmers markets are designated as an essential food and agriculture service provider. All BC Association of Farmers’ Markets (BCAFM) markets currently operating in B.C. have put the following protocols in place to help ensure the health and safety of vendors, organizers and customers.

Food Business Refresh – free program to help rejuvenate small-scale food processors through virtual workshops, one-to-one coaching, and more. The program is currently full, join the waitlist.

Launch Online Grant Program – The Launch Online Grant program provides funding to B.C.-based businesses to create an online shop and/or improve their e-commerce experience to attract new local customers and expand to new markets. The grant will pay for up to 75% of eligible expenses, up to a maximum of $7,500 per business.

Employment support

Get youth working Province of BC – Grant –  The Program offers Employment Counselling, Job Entry Skills, Certificate Training, Paid Work Experience, Mentoring and Post Job Placement Support to eligible youth 17-29 years of age.  Employers that hire and train eligible youth and provide full-time sustainable employment are eligible for a negotiated Wage Subsidy incentive.

Canada Summer Jobs – Grant –  The Government of Canada recently announced temporary changes to the Canada Summer Jobs Program that will help employers hire summer youth staff of ages between 15 – 30 years old. To find out more about applications for the program, please contact your Member of Parliament.

Go2HR Job Board – Job board – Go2HR has opened its tourism and hospitality-focused job board to include the agriculture and food processing sector. This provides a unique opportunity to connect displaced tourism and hospitality employees (due to the COVID-19 pandemic) with employment opportunities in agriculture. Producers and processors can post their job vacancies on the job board for free there.

B.C. Farm, Fish & Food Job Connector – Make a connection with the BC Farm, Fish and Food Job Connector which puts employers in touch with job seekers interested in agriculture, seafood and food processing careers.