New Community Pasture for Farmers Largest in Decades
The Department of Agriculture, through the Nova Scotia Farm Loan Board, is making the largest addition in decades to the province’s community pasture land for farmers.
The board has purchased 125 hectares of land in Cape John, Pictou County, for $1.1 million. It brings the total area of active community pastures across Nova Scotia to more than 2,500 hectares.
“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,” said Agriculture Minister Greg Morrow. “By helping farmers reduce costs, we are supporting affordable, local food for Nova Scotians.”
Community pastures are owned by the Nova Scotia Farm Loan Board and are leased and operated by independent co-operatives run by volunteers dedicated to the beef industry and the farmers who use the community lands to raise cattle.
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. Also, we feel secure that our animals are well cared for on the community pasture by experienced staff.
John Tilley, beef farmer and patron of Cape John Community Pasture
Community pastures have served the beef and grazing farms of Nova Scotia faithfully for many years. Today, it is becoming increasingly apparent that our future is connected more than ever to our grasslands, for feeding people and capturing carbon. All Nova Scotians can be proud of the idyllic beauty of the community pastures and the legacy of devoted land management.
Dan Thompson, Secretary, Cape John Community Pasture Co-operative Limited
- the Community Pasture Program began in the 1950s
- the Nova Scotia Farm Loan Board is a Crown lending agency under the Department of Agriculture
- the board owns another 352 hectares of community pasture land in Cape John
- there are six other active community pastures in the province, in Roxville, Digby County (117 hectares); Minudie, Cumberland County (1,033 hectares); Little Harbour, Richmond County (87 hectares); Maple Brook, Inverness County (257 hectares); Cape Mabou, Inverness County (231 hectares); and Cheticamp, Inverness County (304 hectares)
More information about the Community Pastures Program is available at: https://novascotia.ca/farmloan/communitypastures/