by Monica Marcu

During her tour of local farms, Popham wasn’t afraid to get dirty. / JESSICA SMITH

The McBride Farmers’ Institute hosted the Spring Gala Dinner last Saturday, March 17 to a Community Hall packed with people.  Over 125 locals were glad to gather for a pleasant meal, contribute to the silent auction, enjoy some music and meet the new Minister of Agriculture, Honourable Lana Popham, guest speaker for the event.  The key organizers for the evening were Jane and Len McClinton, Jane Blouin, Renae Westlund. Together with many other volunteers who assisted and supported the Gala at all levels, in the kitchen, serving, with the hall setup and decorations and much more.  Local and out of town businesses donated their produce and agriculture-related items, sport equipment, and artwork for the silent auction. Keith Monroe and friends entertained the gathering with their music.

More than 125 locals gathered last Saturday for the McBride Farmers’ Institute hosted the Spring Gala Dinner with the new Minister of Agriculture, Honourable Lana Popham who was the guest speaker. / SHEILAGH FOSTER

The Minister spoke passionately about her beginnings in Quadra Island, in a community where farming, raising animals was a way of life, and why she believes in the Agricultural Land Reserve, attracting more young people to the land, and supports programs like Young Agrarians and Feed BC that encourage local buying of produce, food and wine.

The McBride Farmers’ Institute, incorporated in 1915, is a non-profit organization supporting local farmers and agriculture. It provides sponsorships and funds agricultural workshops, information sessions from universities and farming suppliers. The Institute wants to represent McBride agriculture and have a voice to government through the provincial superintendent of Farmers Institute in many issues such as land use changes (rezoning or subdivisions) in the Robson Valley and Agricultural Land Reserve properties.  The Institute has 30 members who meet monthly. They encourage anybody interested in contributing to join.

Serenading the dinner were local band members (L-R) Cy Fortin, Keith Monroe, and John Broderick. / SHEILAGH FOSTER