Although the municipal elections seem far in the future, farmers in the Comox Valley are being proactive before their busy season and starting the conversation on what to advocate for. The Mid Island Farmers Institute is meeting on Wednesday, May 16th at 7pm at the Merville Hall to discuss What’s in the Best (Political) Interest of the Comox Valley Farmer?

“We’ve heard over and over that land prices are making it extremely difficult for new farmers to access land and for established farmers to expand production”, cites MIFI President, Arzeena Hamir. “We believe there’s a role for our regional government to help facilitate land matching”.

And while agriculture is a $33 million industry in the Comox Valley, the picture isn’t so rosy region-wide. The Comox Valley lost 16 farms and 30 farm operators from 2011-2016.

Regional District representatives will be in attendance to hear the discussion but the ideas will be coming forward from farmers. These issues include, but are not limited to; local food procurement and educating the public on the benefits of buying local; infrastructure needs, including commercial kitchens and soil testing support; protection and support for livestock that are attacked by pets.

The meeting is open to both members and non-members of the Mid Island Farmers Institute. Tea and snacks will be served.

For more information, please contact Arzeena Hamir, President of the Mid Island Farmers Institute, at 250 702 5657 or email midislandfarmersinstitute@gmail.com