Summer Tour Update  


Here is the run-down on Ag Critic work over the last few weeks.

On July 25th, I visited the much-loved Natural Pastures Cheese company and met with the owner, Doug Smith. It was very interesting to learn about the process of making cheese. Did you know that they make Buffalo mozzarella? Buffalo! Buffalo milk is not part of the supply management system. The Canadian Milk Board only regulates cow milk.

I carried on from there to the Comox Valley Farmers’ Market where I met with members of the Executive and toured the market. I had many conversations about provincial food policy and the meat regulation debacle came up over and over again. I heard many times that these regulations don't work for small-scale producers.

(Coincidentally, I ran into two fellow residents of Saanich South, Judy and Bill Gaylord - these two are always where the action is!)

After that I met with the indomitable agrologist Arzeena Hamir who recently stared Amara Farm in Comox. We talked about all things agriculture.

Later in the day, I went to ViewField Farm for a long discussion about the BC dairy industry with Dave and Lisa Taylor. They were voted "Canadian Outstanding Young Farmers" in 2008. Dave and Lisa are very open and knowledgeable about agricultural policy and were very generous with their time that day...even though they were incredibly busy.

This week I headed to Burnaby. First stop: BC Food Processors Association. I met with bcfpa to discuss how its members contribute to BC's economy and the relationship between food processing and agriculture. This relationship is incredibly important and must be considered as a vital economic driver.

Later that day I went to Avalon Dairy where I met with Gay Hahn and toured this high-tech operation. This dairy has been operating since 1912 and is BC's first certified organic dairy. They sell many different organic and conventional products. It was a real treat to drink their delicious chocolate milk from a glass bottle!

I look forward to continuing my agricultural tour over the summer. I'm off to Kamloops, Penticton and Kelowna over the next few weeks.

Best, Lana.