BC Grain Farmer
The Critcher family has been farming in the Peace River region near Taylor, BC since 1984. Together with their son Michael, daughter Jennifer and son-in-law Steve, Irmi and Barry have grown the family farm from when they started with 160 acres in 1984 up to 4,800 acres today. Critcher Farms grows grain and oilseed crops including wheat, barley, oats, canola, peas as well as grass seed and hay.
The Critcher’s want everyone to know how much they care about their land and the food they produce.
We asked Irmi and Barry to share with We Heart Local BC about why they farm, and how they are doing their part to care for the environment while producing safe, quality food.
What is your goal as farmers?
Our goal as BC grain farmers is to produce high quality, safe food in a sustainable way. With every decision we make about our crops we take into account the potential impacts on our land, environment, markets and finances.
How do you as farmers work towards providing safe, affordable food to Canadians?
People will always need to eat. As farmers, we take it on as our responsibility to ensure that Canadians have safe affordable food. Our farm and the entire grain producing industry is committed to producing food in a highly regulated environment while adhering to strict Canadian standards for the production of safe food.
Food safety and quality is important to our farm as it is our reputation. Throughout the growing season we check our fields almost daily to monitor for weeds, pests and disease in order to assess if crop protection is needed. Every field has records for as long as we have been farming. Our farm equipment also keeps digital application and harvest records for every practice that is performed in the field. During the harvest season we keep records of the quality and condition of the crop and periodic inspections are done when our crops are being stored.
Why is caring for the environment important to you?
As farmers we derive our livelihood completely from our surrounding environment. It is our responsibility, not only from an economic perspective but also for the long term sustainability of our family farm to ensure that our land base and surrounding environment is respected. Our soil, water supply and air are our resources and we have to be conscious of our impacts on it, as well as protect it from outside influences. One of the ways we ensure this is through our involvement in the Environmental Farm Plan Program, a program that helps farmers and ranchers become aware of environmental impacts and helps to reduce our footprint on the environment.
What is your dream for the future of your farm?
Barry and I both come from multiple generations of farmers and it is a beautiful lifestyle that our family enjoys.
Our dream for the future of our farm is for it to continue for multiple generations, adapting to any changes and seeking new opportunities as they come.