November 19, 2021
How to Help BC Farmers Affected By Floods
Record rainfall in British Columbia last weekend triggered devastating washouts, mudslides and flooding, and there’s more rain in the forecast. The agriculture industry has turned its attention to farmers across BC. The affected areas of the province include large swaths of productive farmland, mostly dedicated to cattle and poultry.
Many farmers were forced to abandon their farms and livestock under evacuation orders, while others are struggling to evacuate their animals. Farmers on dry farms with nearby roads and highways closed, flooded, or washed out are in desperate need of water and feed. Many crops had already been harvested, but some will also face crop loss due to the flooding.
In the Abbotsford area, the BC government has been working to deliver water and food to farms cut off from transportation routes, as well as diverting feed destined for China to help ensure surviving animals are fed. It’s still unknown how many animals did not survive.
Other farmers in the area also stepped up, bringing in water and feed and helping farmers relocate animals to other farms, including Councillor Chris Kloot of Chilliwack.
How You Can Help
It’s clear that the impact of this disaster will be far-reaching, and recovery will not be a quick or easy process. While farmers will have access to government emergency funds, there are ways that we can help as individuals and organizations who dedicate our work to the growth and vitality of the agriculture industry.
Veterinarian Dr Jessica Law, DVM of Prairie Livestock Veterinarians and Jillian Carr of Steady Gait Planning, a financial planning service for veterinarians, have started a GoFundMe for BC farm families, with a goal of $620,000 – or $10,000 per farm. The funds raised will be distributed to farmers with valid PID’s, in the affected areas, through the Western Canadian Association of Swine Veterinarians and the Western Association of Poultry Veterinarians.
Three-quarters of BC’s milk production was stranded, forcing dairy farmers to dump milk. Many were also ordered to evacuate. The BC Dairy Association has set up an emergency recovery fund.
For general donations, the Canadian Red Cross has also launched the British Columbia Floods and Extreme Weather Appeal.
Note: If you know of other fundraising or recovery efforts dedicated to the farming community in BC, please let us know. We’ll continue to update this list.