A South Surrey charity known for sustainable agriculture, conservation science and environmental education is one of three organizations in the running for Surrey Board of Trade’s 2019 Agriculture Leadership Award.
A Rocha Canada will be among the contenders when the SBOT announces this year’s winner on Thursday evening (Nov. 21), during the 4th Annual Surrey Agriculture Industry Reception, set for 6-8 p.m. at the Surrey Arts Centre.
The award recognizes a “Surrey-based business/organization that has made a positive impact to Surrey’s agricultural industry.”
Other finalists are Rondriso Farm and Tesfa Farms Water Buffalo.
The A Rocha Brooksdale Environmental Centre is located on 18 acres at 1620 192 St. According to a news release describing the awards finalists, it “continuously supports Surrey farmers and communities through its sustainable agriculture projects such Farm to Families, Community Shared Agriculture and Community Garden Network.”
“Over the course of its 16 years in Surrey, A Rocha’s centre has proven its capacity to continually update its services in order to better serve the community’s environmental needs, while also being a warm place of welcome and experiential education. The farm is integral to this work and will continue to be a leader in Surrey to the rest of Metro Vancouver,” the release adds.
The charity’s website describes it as a “unique combination of sensitive wildlife habitat and agricultural land…where critical environmental issues are researched, addressed, and solved.”
In September, A Rocha Canada was among businesses and organizations recognized at SBOT’s 13th annual Surrey Environment and Business Awards. The charity won the ‘Medium Business Award.’
In Tuesday’s release, Rondriso Farms, at 8390 172 St., is noted as having been in Surrey since 1958, with a pumpkin patch that has become an educational tour site, and sustainability that revolves around diversity.
The farm’s sustainability revolves around diversity. They practice crop rotation and produce their own compost. They graze farms, thus, creating greenspace for the community.
“They are recognized for agro-tourism, sustainable practices, and fresh produce,” the release adds.
The third finalist, Tesfa Farms Water Buffalo, was “born out of (owners Brad and Christy Bennik’s) passion to provide honest food, and at the same time to support families that are in need.”
The couple farm goats, poultry and a herd of 100 water buffalo. Their products, buffalo whole milk and probiotic buffalo yogurt, are the first of their kind in Western Canada.
Thursday’s awards event is to feature deputy Minister of Agriculture Wes Shoemaker as keynote speaker, while Surrey Coun. Jack Hundial is to speak on the city’s agriculture industry priorities.
Admission is free. The Surrey Arts Centre is located at 13750 88 Ave.