From the Western Producer, July 16, 2010, page 61
Agricultural Land Commission | New Chair
Farming hardships good stepping stone to ALC post
By Ross Freake
KELOWNA — Richard Bullock believes the mental toughness he grew as a farmer prepared him for one of his
The Kelowna orchardist has been appointed chair of the Agricultural Land Commission, an independent agency
responsible for preserving agricultural land in British Columbia.
“You have to be able to take disappointment; a lot of things you think should get done don’t, but you have to
keep on going. That’s where being a farmer really helps.
“There’s nothing worse than having a beautiful crop and a hailstorm comes along and, all of a sudden, there’s
nothing left. You have to grieve for a few days and you have to get on with it.
“The toughest part of farming is the mental issues. All the rest can be dealt with but, by God, there are some
awful, tough days.”
Bullock, his wife, Jacquie, daughter, Nicole, and son, John, run a 150-acre apple orchard, Raven Ridge Cidery,
Ridge Restaurant, farm store, petting zoo and tours.
After quitting university, where he studied economics, he got into the family farm business.
It led to the presidency of the B.C. Fruit Growers Association, B.C. Tree Fruits and Sun-Rype; chair of the
Canadian Horticultural Association and the B.C. Farm Industry Review Board and director positions with
various other farm groups.
“It has been 24-7 for a long, long time. Certainly, it has been multi-tasking,” he said. “I didn’t have a formal
education and that was by choice. I wanted to work, but I probably got more than a Harvard education doing
what I’ve done.”
The ALC, which has 19 land commissioners and 20 staff, administers the Agricultural Land Reserve, which was
formed in 1973. At 4.76 million acres, it’s the largest it has ever been. While land has been removed in the south
as municipalities expanded and roads were built, it has been added in other areas, especially the Peace River
“Land is the key component to agriculture and without it we’re toast. We have so little of it in this province and
what we do with it is paramount. It’s something we have to pay a lot of attention to. There was a tremendous
amount of turmoil when it came in.
“But since then, society has made it abundantly clear to governments of every stripe that this is a piece of
legislation they feel is important to the province.”
Bullock said there are many things to do in the job. But there is one thing he wants to accomplish right off.
“I would like put to bed the argument that the ALC is up for sale.… The ALC is not sale; it’s here to stay.”
Kelowna orchardist Richard Bullock has been appointed chair of the B.C. Agricultural Land