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Thread: Qualifying for Farm Status

  1. #1
    New Member
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    Aldergrove
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    Qualifying for Farm Status

    First post here. Not a very busy forum but hopefuly that will change over time.

    We are just starting out farming on a part-time basis, as I have a job in the city and we are starting a family. We figure the easiest way to begin is with with raising animals (chickens, goats, and the like). We have about 3 acres in the ALR and didn't anticipate fully utilising all of it immediately.

    When BC Assessment visited the other day we were told we needed to have a minimum of 2 acres in production. I've read the qualifications many times and have not read this requirement, however I didn't want my first encounter with BC Assessment to be contentious. Now, if some of the land is idle then at a minimum I would expect a split classification, but on reading the Assessment Act my understanding is that unused land in the ALR must be classified as farmland if it "has no present use neither specifically zoned nor held for business, commercial or industrial purposes.

    Just wondering if anyone else has faced a similar interpretation of the assessment act.

  2. #2
    Dennis Lapierre
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    Dec 2009
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    Falkland, BC
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    You might want to check with them again, but in years past BC Assessment cut a bit of slack to those starting out. It could be that they want to see a genuine effort, meaning having at least two of those acres in production and being productive to begin with in order to gain the agricultural property tax status.
    The reality is, it does take a while for people to gain a sense of what a piece of land will give them and what kind of growing meets their abilities.

  3. #3
    New Member
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    The reality is, it does take a while for people to gain a sense of what a piece of land will give them and what kind of growing meets their abilities.
    So true. And in our case what kind of growing can be managed alongside a full-time job. We really have very little experience beyond gardening, but it's already clear that most types of agriculture would be far too demanding, which is why, after chickens, we are now looking at keeping goats.

    I would be interested in hearing from other part-time farmers on what they are pursuing, and on how many acres.

  4. #4
    New Member
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    Dec 2010
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    Telkwa
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    We just applied for farm status as well - my understanding is/was that if you had two acres or less then you had to show an income of $10,000 or over. If you have more property, but only 2 acres or less in production, then you can indicate on your application what your future plans (more or less within the next year) are, and then they can assess your operation based on that information as well.

    We have 10 acres and a bit and are raising livestock (cows, sheep, pigs & chickens). We moved here about 1 1/2 yrs ago and it was all forested, so it's taking a bit of time to get established. A garden (and root cellar if we really get ambitious) are in the immediate future plans though. We are kind of in the same boat as you, as we just started a family and both of us have other work.

    Happy New Year!

  5. #5
    New Member
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    And a Happy New Year to you as well! Clearing forested land sounds like a lot of work.

    I have to admit that I had to look up Telkwa on Google Maps, even though I'm originally from Kitimat (though moved away in 1979)!

  6. #6
    New Member
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    Dec 2010
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    We are lucky, the sheep, cows etc. do a great job of land clearing, so we just have to worry about the fence lines. The only disadvantage is that seeding is more difficult with the forest floor still intact.

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