Yes, even ranchers have paper work! The paper work that I have completed this afternoon however, is very important paper work and will actually make our lives a lot easier!!! I have just finished our ranches application for an Environmental Farm Plan. The program is a government program, which assists ranchers to pick an area of their production practices to improve on. For example, some areas of improvement may include fencing off waterways from animals to help protect the banks and other species, or popular project and the one that our ranch is hoping to receive funding for is to decrease our water consumption. During the summer months ranches in BC need to irrigate hay fields in order to produce a crop and both Erika Fossen and I have lamented about moving the irrigation. It is quite a process. On our ranch we have 9 wheel lines and 3 hand lines that need to be moved everyday to get across water the entire field. In addition, to being time intensive it uses water. There are new systems designed to decrease the total water consumption, but still allow us to water our fields enough to produce a hay crop. These fancy new inventions are called pivots. Many of you may have seen these while driving past fields. They move around a central point (pivot) and water your field, so no manual labour is required! YAY! This is a real win win situation for ranchers, it gives us more time in the day to do other things like move cows, fix fence, make hay ect and it uses less water to help ensure sustainable ranching practices. However, the downfall is price! The pivot for our ranch with materials and installation was estimated at $75, 000! Let me tell you that is almost what our ranch makes in a year, so we cannot justify paying for one, but with the Environmental Farm Plan program they will help. The program pays for 30% and up to $20, 000 of the project. It is programs like this that are really helpful and necessary to the ranching industry. We do not make a lot of money, but I don’t know a rancher who is in it for the money, but we do need to be competitive in the sense of doing what is right of the land and our business and this program does both!
This is a photo of a section of our current system.
This is not our pivot, ours will be way smaller it is just a photo to use as an example of what hopefully will be in our field!