EDITORIAL: Agriculture has an important role in the Alberni Valley

Tourism tends to grab the headlines in the Alberni Valley but agriculture is no less vital.

Tourism tends to grab the headlines in the Alberni Valley, as municipal leaders struggle to define the Valley’s identity, and the community advocates for greater access and a wider reputation of our outdoor and waterfront attributes.

Almost lost in the discussion, but no less vital a topic, is agriculture.

The Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District is in the third phase of its Alberni Valley Agricultural Plan, unveiled in 2011. Some of the buzzwords coming out of that report include food security, a thriving agricultural community, and increased support for farmers and food producers.

This weekend residents have the opportunity to visit several of the farms around the Alberni Valley and speak with the farmers and growers first hand. Sunday, Sept. 18 is Family Farm Day, an event put on by the ACRD for the past six years and highlighting different farms.

The self-directed tour runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. A list of farms and map are available on the regional district website at www.acrd.bc.ca

In 2017, the Alberni Valley will have the opportunity to share its agriculture with the whole Island as we play host to the Island Agriculture Show for the first time.

The Valley’s focus doesn’t have to be an either–or scenario: tourism or agriculture. Both can co-exist.

Opportunities such as the ag show, and even the farmers’ markets that are abundant in the Alberni Valley, are opportunities to showcase our agricultural attributes to tourists both close to home and abroad.

— ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS