Small Scale Meat

Please join us at beautiful Fresh Valley Farms in Armstrong Feb 23/24 for our first annual “Meat Up” event and AGM! The event is free (dinner and lunch tickets may be purchased) and all are welcome!

Location: 1476 Mountain View Road, Armstrong BC

Featured Speakers

Werner Stump

Together with his family, Werner operates Crystal Lake Ranch in Malakwa.  The ranch was awarded the 2023 BC Cattlemen’s Sustainability award and it includes several complimentary enterprises, the core of which is a cow/calf operation.  Werner is currently the Vice-President of the BC Cattlemen’s Association and has represented the cattle industry on many issues including the BC Ministry of Agriculture’s regenerative agriculture initiative.

Tom Walker

Somewhere there is a report card that says, “Tom Walker asks too many questions”. He has been able to roll that inquisitiveness and a political science degree with a resource geography minor into a retirement gig writing for agriculture publications like Country Life in BC. Maybe 30 years of writing report cards helps? He enjoys listening to and recounting producer’s stories. He cut his teeth protesting in support of the ALR on the steps of the BC legislature in ’73 and still enjoys a dust up that involves government policy.

Rob Dinwoodie

Rob Dinwoodie resides in Vernon BC and has worked in the feed industry, dairy sector and for 30 years as a Range agrologist/officer with the Range Program, Ministry of Forests. Rob has a love for rangelands and currently is working for Investment Agriculture Foundation as an Environmental Farm Plan advisor and is qualified to do riparian, grazing and nutrient management plans. Rob sees the growing opportunity for food production in both small and large agriculture operations. He lives in Vernon on an acreage that produces lamb and horticulture crops. 

Tristan Banwell

Tristan manages Spray Creek Ranch, a regenerative, organic, diversified farm in the Northern St’at’imc Territory near Lillooet, BC. Together with his wife Aubyn and their team, he rotates cattle, sheep, pigs and poultry across irrigated pastures and rugged rangelands along the mighty Fraser River in a resilient agroecological system. He has a Farmgate Plus poultry abattoir and is also developing Maverick Meats, which will be an on-farm Provincially Inspected abattoir, to shorten his supply chain and serve other producers as they build their own direct marketing enterprises. Tristan is a founding member and President of the Small-Scale Meat Producers Association. From rotational grazing webinars to hands-on fencing training, virtual field days to on-farm events, Tristan has a gift for sharing his expertise in a relatable way.

Tony Ackland
Tony grew up on a 400 head cattle ranch, working it with his family until the ranch was sold. He started in the irrigation business shortly after that and worked with a company in Kelowna for 12 years. He was offered a job at Delta 5 years ago, and jumped at the chance to work in the industry again. Tony has found that the incorporation of technology has been an amazing learning curve, and has taken the irrigation world to new levels of sophistication. He is so exciting to be on this ride.


Friday Feb 23:

4 pm – SSMPA Annual Meat Up will start with a tour of our brand new Slaughter Trailer.

5 pm – Then join us for a delicious home cooked dinner. Dinner tickets are $35 per person. There will be a cash bar on site.

6 pm Tristan Banwell: Regenerative Agriculture for Uncertain Times

Faced with climate chaos, plummeting biodiversity, degradation of soils and challenges from the industrialization of our food supply, the world is looking to regenerative agriculture for solutions. But, regenerative does not have one meaning or standard, and is being deployed to describe divergent farming philosophies. Where can we find common ground? If we have the same goals — improving soil and ecosystem health, mitigating and adapting to climate risks, and providing meaningful livelihoods while feeding the population — can we collaborate to do better? Our conversation will range from regenerative certifications to the implications of corporate greenwashing, with actionable advice on implementing regenerative practices to improve the resilience of your operation.

The remainder of the evening will be for socializing and networking with your fellow farmers and industry folk.

Saturday, Feb 24:

8 am – registration and coffee.

Morning Sessions

Werner Stump: Sustainable Ranch Management: Opportunities and Challenges

Werner will be speaking about some of the work that BC Cattlemen’s Association is doing, including Emergency Preparedness.   He will also be talking about his personal operation, in particular some of the sustainability and stewardship initiatives they have undertaken including silvopasture management and riparian habitat restoration. Continuous improvement to develop and maintain range, mitigate wildfire risk and diversify operations must be balanced with the environment, soil health, and water stewardship. Bring your questions and prepare to be inspired by some of the innovative work being undertaken both in the industry and at Crystal Lake Ranch.

Tom Walker: Water and Land Use Issues for BC Farmers & Ranchers

Tom will be leading this interactive discussion about some of the topics that are top of mind for BC producers. He’ll take us through the Water Sustainability Act, and the history and current state of groundwater licensing in BC and the mandate of the new Water Land and Resource Stewardship Ministry. We’ll talk about farmer and rancher experiences last summer with irrigation shutdowns and the new Watershed Plans that are starting with the Koksilah on Vancouver Island. We’ll also discuss the proposed amendments to the Land Act and decision making over Crown Land. Please bring your questions! We encourage lively, respectful debate and look forward to hearing your perspectives and experiences.

Lunch will be from 12:00 to 1:00 pm. Lunch tickets are $25 per person

Afternoon Programming

Farm Tour:

Stretch your legs on this walking tour of Fresh Valley Farms. Highlights include:

Ukkö Robotics Rova Barn- autonomous pasture poultry system.

Shipping container butcher shop and poultry slaughter unit

Pasture/forest raised hog production systems

Cattle winter feeding infrastructure

Demos and Hands-On Experiences:

Fence Fast 

Our friends from Fence Fast will be on hand to show you all the latest in electric fencing technologies available to help maximize your grazing productivity. Bring your challenges and questions and enjoy the opportunity to try out a wide range of products with professional support and advice from Leanne and Axle and other grazing mentors and peers.

UBCO Electric Utility Bikes

Julien Coffey will be on hand to show off these awesome new bikes and take you for a test drive. UBCO bikes have been available in New Zealand for several years, and they are finally coming to Canada. If you are eager to decrease your dependence on fossil fuels on your farm or ranch, you’re going to love these sweet bikes. Fun, quiet and rugged enough to handle ranch life… come try one out for yourself! And a big thank you to UBCO who have donated a bike to SSMPA for use at our field days and workshops!


Rob Dinwoodie: Environmental Farm Plans 

The Environmental Farm Plan is an opportunity address and enhance activities to make your Agricultural enterprise more environmentally friendly and profitable.Rob will be speaking about this free program that provides eligible agri-food sector producers with access to consultants (known as EFP Advisors) to assist in the completion of Environmental Farm Plans.Funding is available to help reduce the environmental risks identified within your EFP workbook. Projects that can be funded through the Beneficial Management Practices program include waste management, air quality control, emissions control, soil and riparian integrity, water quality and on-farm materials storage. Bring your questions for Rob and learn all about this great opportunity.

Tony Ackland, Delta Water Products: Management and Technology for Responsible Irrigation and Water Management Practices

Tony will be presenting on the timely topic of irrigation and introducing some new products and technologies that can help you on your farm or ranch. He’ll cover a range of topics including the water cycle and the reasons for the predicament we are currently finding ourselves in and what we can do to mitigate these issues. We’ll learn about new technlogoly like weather stations and how they can be used to support your operation. And of course heh will cover irrigation controls, systems and efficiencies as well as linking to the funding opportunities available through the EFP. We are excited that Delta Water Products is now offering SSMPA members their deepest producer discount on all products. Come chat with Tony for more details!

SSMPA: Climate Resilient Livestock Production & Emergency Management

The best time to prepare for challenging weather is BEFORE you find yourself and your livestock in an emergency. In this session we will discuss beneficial management practices like rotational grazing and cover cropping that can build resilience into your operation and help to reduce the impacts of climate change. We will also discuss systems you can implement to care for your livestock during heat, wildfires, drought, cold and other extreme weather events as well as the role of strong, diverse genetics in building climate resilience.

SSMPA: Pastured-Poultry Profits, Perils and Progress

Experienced poultry producers will benefit from this session where we will discuss best practices for maximizing profits and outcomes from your pasture-based poultry operation including nitrogen/nutrient management, timing your pasture moves, stocking rates, use of cover crops and integration of poultry into multi-species grazing models. We’ll also discuss new technologies and advances in equipment and infrastructure, HPAI best management practices, and work being done by the Small-Scale Meat Producers Association to advocate for the growth of this sector.

SSMPA: Farmgate Licences: A Path to Growth for Small-Scale Meat Producers

New meat inspection regulation greatly expanded opportunities for on-farm slaughter in October 2021. We’ll lay out the facts, dive into lessons learned, bust some myths, talk about insurance, discuss the business and economics of Farmgate facilities and look at some exciting examples of how this opportunity is being used to help meat producers and processors scale their businesses.

The Saturday event will wrap up by 5 pm.

Accommodation Recommendations

Armstrong Inn in Armstrong

The Castle half way between Armstrong and Vernon

Or choose from many options in Vernon