The Nova Scotia Farm Loan Board purchased 125 hectares of land in Pictou County
By Diego Flammini
The Nova Scotia government is adding to its community pasture resources.
The ministry of agriculture, through the Nova Scotia Farm Loan Board, has purchased 125 hectares (308 acres) of land in Cape John, Pictou County for $1.1 million.
This is in addition to another 352 hectares (869 acres) of land already owned in the community.
The loan board “supports the development of sustainable agriculture and rural agribusiness in Nova Scotia through responsible lending,” its website says.
The Crown corporation developed the community pasture program during the 1950s.
The Farm Loan Board owns the pastures and leases them to independent co-operatives.
With this most recent purchase, Nova Scotia cattle ranchers have access to more than 2,500 hectares (6,177 acres) of pasture.
These community pastures help established producers, new farmers and local consumers, said Greg Morrow, Nova Scotia minister of agriculture.
“We are working with the Farm Loan Board to help cattle farmers reduce their cost of production of local beef in Nova Scotia and reduce barriers to entry for new farmers by expanding community pasture land,” he said in a statement. “By helping farmers reduce costs, we are supporting affordable, local food for Nova Scotians.”
Farmers see the benefits of having community pastures.
Moving some livestock to the community pasture allows for home farmland to grow more food, said John Tilley, a beef producer and user of the Cape John Community Pasture.
“The value of the community pasture to our farm is twofold: by sending part of my herd to the community pasture each summer, it frees up land on the farm so I can grow more forage crops to feed animals over winter and thereby expand the size of my herd,” he said in a statement. “Also, we feel secure that our animals are well cared for on the community pasture by experienced staff.”
Nova Scotia has six other community pastures in the province:
- Roxville, Digby County (117 hectares/289 acres)
- Minudie, Cumberland County (1,033 hectares/2,552 acres)
- Little Harbour, Richmond County (87 hectares/214 acres)
- Maple Brook, Inverness County (257 hectares/635 acres)
- Cape Mabou, Inverness County (231 hectares/570 acres)
- Cheticamp, Inverness County (304 hectares/751 acres)