The Lillooet Agriculture & Food Society, a non-profit society supporting local farmers, ranchers and growers, needs a STORAGE FACILITY STRATEGIC BUSINESS PLAN and is accepting proposals in response to this Request for Proposal (this “RFP,” or this “Request for Proposal”) to find a qualified source to provide a COLD STORAGE FACILITY STRATEGIC BUSINESS PLAN. Our goal with the COLD STORAGE BUSINESS PLAN is to:

Allow stakeholders to align their business activities with the vision of the venture and to set realistic goals, as well as keep them on track and benchmark progress. The plan will allow the business enterprise to adapt quickly to a changing environment, both internally and externally, and overcome potential problems by looking to the future. The business strategy will help build consensus with stakeholders on venture direction, financial projections and building costs. 

After the completion of the business plan, stakeholders would leverage this business plan to implement necessary steps and to attract more funders and partners in the enterprise.

The objective of this Request for Proposal is to locate a contractor or professional that will provide the best overall plan to the LILLOOET AGRICULTURE & FOOD SOCIETY. While price is a significant factor, other criteria will form the basis of our award decision, as more fully described in the Evaluation Factors section of this Request for Proposal here.

Online Market in Lillooet!

While Farmers’ Markets have been deemed an essential service, they will be very limited both in vendors and access. At least for a while longer.

In light of this predicament for farmers and producers, the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets is helping markets across the province go online this year!  Thanks to the generous support of the Ministry of Agriculture Buy BC program and Vancity, the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets will cover the fees for the 2020 season.

The Lillooet Market will be online on the Local Line platform.
Here, you will be able to order from lots of your favourite farmers, and have your food delivered to a pick up location that is convenient for you!

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Here is the link to our online market:

With the support of Area B Director Vivian Birch-Jones, the Lillooet Agriculture and Food Society applied to the SLRD for funding to support having a staff person for pick-up and delivery.  

Starting May 22nd, Seed to Culture will be open on Fridays from 1pm – 6pm for Local Line order deliveries and pickup.

(Don’t forget that you are welcome to order from our online store starting today!  You can specify pick-up or delivery details with each vendor.)

The Farmers’ Market board of directors will be re-assessing having a physical market at the end of the month, so keep an eye out for more info about our physical market.

Don’t hesitate to email us at or call 778-887-2027 if you have any questions about your local, online shopping experience!

New Code of Practice: Agriculture Environmental Management (AEM Code)

The BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy has recently released a Code of Practice for Agricultural Environmental Management (AEM Code). This new regulation is set up to ensure the protection of drinking water, watercourses and air.

This applies to all agricultural operations in BC; from small hobby farms to large scale commercial operations.

This code applies to you if you do any of the following activities on your farm:

  • Agricultural composting
  • Growing plants
  • Keeping livestock or poultry
  • Spreading manure, fertilizer or other nutrient sources
  • Storing manure or other agricultural by-products
  • Using boilers and heaters
  • Using and storing wood residue

We have added this resource to our database, so you can learn more about the requirements of this code, how the code will be enforced, and what you need to do.

You can find out more about the AEM code by visiting the BC government website.

GAPs Workshops

GAPs Pic

Good Agriculture Practices seem to be the topic of the moment.

Governments have found that, “There is little or no legislation that refers to “safe food.” However, there is Legislation that prohibits selling “unsafe food.” This would include the sale of any unsafe food being sold from a farm…. There are no specific standards in legislation for every type of commodity that may be produced on farm.”

A few health scares, including several cases of BSE, salmonella and E.Coli have made both consumers and governments aware of the risks of mass-production and long-distance shipping.  With goods being dispersed in all directions from a single farm, at times globally, when something goes wrong it can result in massive recalls and a huge impact both on the consumers as well as producers.  Good agricultural practices have therefore been put in place as a way to try and create more comprehensive guidelines for food and beverages produced on farm.

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It is noted on the B.C. government website that the document, “…includes good practices for food safety purposes only governing the use of agricultural inputs, identification and labelling, storage, loading and transportation of the plant or animal product on the farm and to the farm gate.  It does not detail practices that apply to the animal after it leaves the farm.”
This, however, is the first step in increased traceability of goods, and a way to ensure that producers and consumers alike are protected.  “Establishing a food safety plan helps identify the policies and practices in place on the farm and who is responsible for ensuring they occur” – uwyo.ed.
“Some farms may be required to be certified for having GAPs in place and may have developed a farm food safety plan (perhaps by a buyer such as a wholesaler, retailer, restaurant or institution). But no matter whether you sell food or not, or are required to have a plan or not, be sure to take reasonable measure to reduce the risks” uwyo.ed.

However, this is no easy certification for a producer.  It is extremely involved, and costly both in time and fees. The good news is that there are two GAPs workshops planned for this winter/early spring – one in Pemberton and one here in Lillooet.

The Pemberton Farmer’s Institute is hosting a two-day CanadaGAP workshop February 4-5, sponsored by Feed BC and the BC Ministry of Agriculture. This two-day workshop is for fruit and vegetable producers interested in growing their business by selling into the retail, wholesale or food service markets, or who are already selling through these channels and require certification under the CanadaGAP Program.

Benefits of attending the workshop:
– You will learn how to prepare and implement a Good Agricultural Practices program for fruit and vegetable handling, washing and packing, that aligns with the CanadaGAP voluntary food safety certification program
– Start your CanadaGAP record keeping documentation at the workshop
– Learn how a Traceability program supports your mock recall
– Learn how to apply for funding opportunities through the Canadian Agricultural – Partnership programs to support your on-farm food safety practices

The workshop is restricted to a maximum of 20 participants and is free of charge (lunch is provided). Please register by contacting Anna Helmer, President of the Pemberton Farmer’s Institute, at 604-966-8460 or by email at

The Lillooet workshop dates are TBD, but if you would like to put your name on the list, you can email or call 778-887-2027. It will likely take place in late February or early March – we will put the word out as soon as dates are confirmed.

@Lillooet_Grown on #Instagram


Have you heard?! Lillooet Grown is now on Instagram!

  Screen Shot 2020-01-03 at 09.45.55 We’re excited to be connected in on one of today’s most-used social media platforms. Bi-weekly posts of locally grown goodness and recipes, as well as a “Friday Feature” of local businesses – growers, producers and makers.  Hop on over to Insta and give us a follow now @lillooet_grown to keep up with the amazing things that are grown, hand-crafted, and created right here in Lillooet.

If you’re a business and have a really great post that you would like to have featured, don’t hesitate to send us a DM with your request. Our aim is to support the food system, but artisanal goods available at the market or around town are also welcome additions to the feed. Happy to share events to get the word out, as we are aiming to connect with business locally as well as regionally in order to strengthen networks and knowledge.

What would you like to see on our Insta? Drop us a line! Facebook, Instagram or email – – are all options for reaching out and making suggestions or asking questions.

Looking forward to a year of discovering Lillooet Grown products, produce and people!

Harvest Festival Postponed


📷 Fort Berens Winery

This past March, the Lillooet Agriculture and Food Society (LAFS) took on the Lillooet Hops and Grapes Society as a committee, with the intention of continuing to hold an annual Fall Fair/Harvest Festival Event. The Harvest Festival has been held at Fort Berens Winery for the past few years, and expanded last year to include several workshops put on by LAFS. The event has been a big draw for people along the Sea-to-Sky Corridor, and has had up to 600 attendees. The goal of the Harvest Festival has been to showcase the growing wine and beer industry in the area, foods grown and prepared by local businesses, and arts and crafts made by regional artisans. Lillooet Agriculture and Food Society would like to continue these traditions, and to focus on local produce, farmers, agriculture and fun! Activities for people of all ages will continue to be mainstays, from the very popular Logger Sports competition, to games for the whole family to enjoy. Entertainment such as musical acts, hand drumming and dancing, and salmon cutting demonstrations by Xwisten will also continue to be a part of the event. We are hoping to expand the food options, and to hold some traditional fall-fair competitions, such as “Most Interesting Apricot Preserve” and Largest Zucchini.
Logger Sports

Logger Sports 2018                                                                                                                                             📷 Fort Berens Winery

Our aim is to collaborate with as many local non-profits and small businesses as we can in order to create a successful and sustainable event celebrating local agriculture and Lillooet livelihoods for years to come. LAFS has chosen to postpone the event this year until 2020, in the hopes of being able to gather more support from other local non-profits, businesses. We hope to build connections at the Lillooet Fall Festival, to increase the amount of people growing and eating local, Lillooet food, and to celebrate the beautiful diversity and resilience of our small town.

LAFS Workshop 2018                                                                                                                                          📷 Fort Berens Winery

Do you have ideas for what you would like to see at a Fall Festival event? Would the non-profit or charity you’re involved with want to help out?  We will be holding a Community Conversation in partnership with our Community Coordinator, Kim North, on November 2nd, at the Rec Centre in Room 203.  All ideas, thoughts and contributions welcome. Contact LAFS at or 778-887-2027 with any questions, concerns or comments regarding the Fall Festival 2020!

Loans and Grants Assistance

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If you read our blog, our saw the article in our July newsletter, then you know that Megan was working for LAFS this summer as our Loans and Grants assistant.  Here is a little bit about what she accomplished!

Megan was able to get funding from the SLRD for Lillooet Food Matters’ Mushroom workshop that happened at the end of August/beginning of September.  The event was a great success, you can read more about it on Lillooet Food Matters blog here.

The major summer project was a BC Community Gaming Grant application. We applied for funding to cover more education and outreach, and workshops for 2020.  This proved to be quite the project!

Megan also applied for a Nutrition Link grant specifically for workshops. The plan is to run a series of food preservation workshops next summer if we are successful. Workshops would follow the fruit, with a July workshop about preserving apricots, an August workshop about preserving peaches and a fall workshop for apples, plums and pears.

Part of the job this summer was to connect local producers with funding opportunities available to them. Megan reached out to several farms, and did lots of research on programs and funding available.

We were looking into funding to have a workshop/forum with keynote speakers at the end of the year. Topics would be on aspects of a food hub, for example, having someone speak on running a co-op and another speaking on distributing products as a group. Andrea Harris from the BC Co-Op Association is  keen to come and speak here in Lillooet, and we are planning to collaborate with our Community Coordinator to hold the event late this fall.

A big thank you to Megan for all of her work applying, connecting with people and researching for LAFS this summer!


“It has been a pleasure working for LAFS these past few months. I have enjoyed playing part in the inner workings of the society and seeing what is being done in our local community to support and enhance the agricultural industry. I only hope that my small role has made a valuable contribution, and that LAFS continues to be able to offer support to local farmers and a connection to the general population.” – Megan

Gleaning Project 2019

This summer, Wren worked hard to glean unwanted or surplus fruit and get it used! Armed with hand-made pickers and a whole lot of passion, Wren did an amazing job gleaning in our community this season.

Wren Gleaning

If you don’t know what gleaning is, it means collecting of fruit that is not going to be used and finding people and places who would like it! Produce that might have gone to waste becomes a welcome source of fresh food for many who might otherwise go without. – KFPC

Every community does this a little differently, for example, the Kamloops Gleaning Abundance Program donates to community programs including the Kamloops Food Bank, ASK Wellness and Centre for Seniors Information.

“Traditionally the structure of gleaning is organized such that, the pickers receive ⅓ of the fruit, the homeowners receive ⅓ of the fruit, and the last ⅓ goes to a foodbank or other charitable organization. The Lillooet Foodbank did not have the capacity to deal with fresh fruit, and was only open a few days a week. It was important that this free food could still be given to those in need, so some smaller donations were made directly to individuals who could not get there.” – Wren Kerslake

This year in Lillooet, donations went to P’egp’íg’lha Community Centre, and several local residents. With a total of 22 trees gleaned, and lots of conversation and connection on the Gleaning for Life Facebook page, for a first year of dedicated gleaning, we were very happy with the project!

“Thank you so much Wren, for doing such an awesome job this summer I can’t express how much appreciation I have for all your efforts and how much Wildlife conflict was avoided thanks to the gleaning program.” – Jennifer Davidson, District of Lillooet Bylaw Enforcement Officer

A big thank you from all of us! We are planning on continuing the Gleaning Program this fall and starting up again next spring. If you have fruit, want fruit, or would like to come out and help, connect with us on Facebook at or email us at Gleaning Pic

Request for Proposals for the Cold Storage Facility Pitch Package and Feasibility Study

The Lillooet Agriculture & Food Society needs a Cold Storage Facility Pitch Package and Feasibility Study and is accepting proposals in response to this Request for Proposal to find a qualified source to provide a Cold Storage Facility Pitch Package and Feasibility Study. The goal of the Study is to:

  1. Determine the economic viability of a cold/dry storage facility in Lillooet
  2. Evaluate the market and assess the financial feasibility
  3. Research and recommend partnerships, land acquisition/lease and optimal size
  4. Gather Input from St’át’imc Bands as to their interest in partnership/use of the facility
  5. Create a list of recommendations for next steps
  6. Create a pitch package to present to potential investors/partners

The objective of this Request for Proposal is to locate a contractor or professional that will provide the best overall report to the LILLOOET AGRICULTURE & FOOD SOCIETY. While price is a significant factor, other criteria will form the basis of our award decision, as more fully described in the Evaluation Factors section of the Request for Proposal below.

You can find the RFP here.

Proposals must be received prior to September 5, 2019 to be considered.

Farmer Focus: Rex Peak Ranch

Rex Peak Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your family? I was raised on the ranch we currently own and operate.  When I was a kid the ranch was a small homestead.  We had goats, a milk cow, horses, chickens and and a huge garden.  We grew most of our own food and seldom went to town.  We did not have TV or even radio. National Geographic was our window to the world.  My brothers and sister and I were homeschooled until high school.  We had horses and rode everywhere.  In 2002 my husband Phil (who came here from England in 1998) and I started turning it from a homestead into a working ranch.  It is still a work in progress.  We are still off-grid and in the boonies.  We are 75km from Lillooet in the Bridge River Valley.  We raised our two daughters, Megan and Jade (who are an indispensable part of our operation) here and I homeschooled them here until highschool. Can you tell us about your farming practices? We focus on raising hereford/angus beef cattle.  We also have some lamb and pigs for our own use with any excess going to friends and family.  We started out with 4 cows that my mom had owned.  From there we slowly built up our own herd. Buying some cows here and there.  Then we started raising our own replacement heifers and bought good quality bulls.  We started out with very little machinery, so we used a team of horses for years (and still have a team) for a lot of work.  As time went on we cleared more land, got more machinery, built a hayshed, fenced and cross-fenced our ranch, and started growing some of our own hay (the rest we buy from local ranchers).  We have a large cattle range that we carefully manage.  We focus on making sure the biodiversity is maintained, which helps keep predators from becoming a problem.  We use horses and cattle dogs to move our cattle over our range in a circular pattern – they move from our spring range up to the summer range and back around in a circle so that by fall they are back near the ranch and they are easily moved home.  On the ranch we try to maintain and improve our grass and forage crops. IMG_3962 When did you get involved with LAFS and why? I was invited by Jacquie Rassmussen to join LAFS at its inception.  I was part of the AAC at the time.  I felt that it was important for our area to have a stronger agricultural voice. Where are your products sold? We are a cow calf operation. We sell our calves in the fall through the BC Livestock Co-op in Kamloops.  It is a rancher owned and operated market. What are your future plans? We would like to expand our hay production, increase our infrastructure, continue to raise quality beef and become more self-sufficient so that eventually our daughters may be able to take over the operation. 2016-07-13 001 048