The Northern Cohort is ready for another busy summer season and has hired six eco farm skills support students to support farms and ranches in the Peace.
Each student will be assigned a home farm for the summer. Program Co-ordinator Bess Legault says her team was expanded this year with the addition of research and development member Keira Nichol, while Eco Farm Skills Co-ordinator Rhys Chapman will organize the student farm work.
“We have about a one to one ratio with the students and the farms, one might go to two farms,” said Chapman.
“The idea is being that they can go there and collect information about you and your family, and your policies, and what you sell. How you do things, how you do regenerative agriculture and all that wonderful stuff.”
The information will be used to create a map and profiles of member farms in the Peace, with students interviewing producers and taking pictures of production.
The Northern Cohort and students will be making appearances at farmers’ markets throughout the region this summer.
“We want to have a presence at these popup markets as possible, we’re still trying to figure out box programs and online opportunities,” said Legault, noting a food hub network is also being planned, with cohort members providing local produce and goods.
A partnership has also been formed with the Fort St John Association for Community Living, with a therapeutic farm and two farm plots being developed with a greenhouse and animal shelter for sheep.
Tom Summer, Local Journalism Initiative, Alaska Highway News