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New fund will 'preserve, protect and promote' agriculture

A new fund is being put in place to help “preserve, protect and promote” agriculture in the city of Abbotsford.

The Agricultural Enhancement Endowment Fund is going to provide money for those who work in the local agribusiness – from university researchers to farmers – to promote agricultural interests, said Mayor George Peary.

“In 2005, the City of Abbotsford applied to the Provincial Agricultural Land Commission to exclude lands from the Agricultural Land Reserve for industrial development to facilitate new job creation and economic growth,” said Peary.

“As part of this, the city committed through the City in the Country plan to ensure there will be a net benefit to agriculture from this process.”

The source of the funds will be from developers who rezone properties. The first payment was $308,680 from Vanderpol Industries.

On Monday, city council gave its approval for the Abbotsford Community Foundation to administer the fund.

A board of directors is currently in the works.

Peary expects applications for the funding will be accepted by the end of the year.

The agreement is available from the city’s website: www.abbotsford.ca.

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