A Rocha Canada’s Jenn Cline and Paul Neufeld pose with Surrey Board of Trade CEO Anita Huberman following presentation of the 2019 Agriculture Leadership Award Thursday. (Contributed photo)

South Surrey’s A Rocha Canada named agriculture leader

Efforts celebrated during industry event at Surrey Arts Centre

A South Surrey charity known for sustainable agriculture, conservation science and environmental education has won Surrey Board of Trade’s 2019 Agriculture Leadership Award.

SBOT announced A Rocha Canada as this year’s winner this evening (Nov. 21) at the Surrey Arts Centre, during its 4th Annual Surrey Agriculture Industry Reception.

The award recognizes a “Surrey-based business/organization that has made a positive impact to Surrey’s agricultural industry.”

Other finalists were 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 as Farm to Families, Community Shared Agriculture and Community Garden Network.”

READ MORE: South Surrey land donation celebrated

“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.’ A news release at that time described A Rocha as “a living classroom for ecological stewardship, sustainable living, and community hospitality, located in the the Little Campbell Watershed, an area that is extremely rich in biodiversity.”

READ MORE: Businesses receive recognition for environmental leadership at Surrey awards

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.

“They are recognized for agro-tourism, sustainable practices, and fresh produce,” the release adds.

Tesfa Farms Water Buffalo, according to the release, 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.”

Thursday’s awards event was to feature deputy Minister of Agriculture Wes Shoemaker as keynote speaker, while Surrey Coun. Jack Hundial was to speak on the city’s agriculture industry priorities.



tholmes@peacearchnews.com

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A Rocha Canada, located in South Surrey, was announced Tuesday as a finalist for the Surrey Board of Trade’s 2019 Agriculture Leadership Award. The award was presented Thursday evening. (Tracy Holmes photo)

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