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Stronger Together: Pro-Agriculture Rally Planned in Osoyoos

The BC Fruit Growers’ Association is hosting a rally in support of agriculture, “Stronger Together,” at Gyro
Park in Osoyoos on May 28th from 2:30 PM to 4:00 PM. After several hard years in a row, growers are
feeling the financial and emotional pressure of low yields, low returns, and an erosion of public awareness for
local agriculture production.

Tree fruit and grape growers have been severely impacted by the extreme weather events experienced over
the last several years. The heat dome of 2021 was followed by back-to-back cold snaps, and these
unprecedented weather events have been taking big bites out of the local agricultural community.
This rally aims to raise public awareness about the plight of growers. The BCFGA is calling on growers,
consumers, policymakers, and the entire community to unite in support of our agricultural industry.

The BCFGA invites the community to show their support for the local farming community by joining us to
mingle with farmers and their families, enjoy live music, ice cream, and hear a few words from invited
speakers. The program begins at 3:15, and speakers will include BCFGA president Peter Simonsen and Vice
President, Sukhdeep Brar, Penny Gamble, Okanagan orchardist and BCFGA member, as well as former
agriculture ministers Corky Evans and John Van Dongen. Each address will build on a simple call to action –
what can we do to help growers; what can growers do for each other, what consumers can do, and what
decision-makers can do.

“I am very worried about the toll the last few years is taking on farmers. I am worried about mental health
in an industry that doesn’t like to talk about mental health. I am worried about the number of orchards and
vineyards that are going up for sale. I’m worried that there’s not a future in Okanagan farming for my kids.
We need to stand together as growers and we need to ask the people of British Columbia to support local
and buy local now more than ever.” said BCFGA Vice-President Sukhdeep Brar.

“We were very fortunate that over 50 years ago a courageous group of politicians established the
Agricultural Land Reserve with the goal of protecting food production for future generations. That future
has now arrived and we have protected the land but support for farming has eroded to unsustainable
levels–slowly and under the leadership of various political parties. We once again need courageous
politicians, of all stripes and at all levels, to bring support for the farmers back. Food production is too
important to be a partisan issue.” said BCFGA President, Peter Simonson.