Well, I’m sure you’ve heard that we need to encourage more new farmers in Canada. We don’t currently have enough people entering the age-old profession of farming to replace the ones retiring.
There are many ways that this issue can be addressed. By supporting your local farmers you are definitely helping! Ideally, support would also come from the government in the form of supportive policies.
Last year, around this time, I sat in a room with young farmers from across Canada and we decided a National New Farmer Coalition would be a good idea.
We were inspired by the work of the National Young Farmers Coalition in the U.S.A. They created policy recommendations to support young and new farmers (which you can see here). And many of their policy recommendations made it into the most recent U.S. Farm Bill! And this was all done in a grassroots, young farmer-organized manner. We have power when we come together! Let’s make something similar happen in Canada!
The Goal: 1000 new farmers in Canada saying what they need to be successful.
Why: There are rules and regulations that can support and encourage new farmers and those that can do the opposite. We need more of the former.
We need to tell our government, our lending agencies, our food and farm organizations “Hey! Stop guessing who we are and what we need! We are here to inform you.”
Why care about policy change? Policies affect whether a retiring farmer will be able to sell their farm affordably to a new farmer. Policies affect whether loans or grants are available to new farmers. Policies affect the success of your local farmers’ market. Policies affect whether new farmers succeed or fail!
What: A survey has been created for new farmers to find out who you are, what you’re doing, what has worked for you, and what you need.
The info received from this survey will help in the creation of policy recommendations. What kinds of policies do we want to shape? National policies, provincial policies, municipal policies and business/organization policies that can affect new farmers.
Who: Fill out this survey if you are a new farmer, an aspiring farmer, an established farmer, or a recently exited (you were farming but now you’re not) farmer. You are being asked to do this by other new/young farmers who want to unite our voices and be heard!
Where: Let’s bring together the voices of people from across Canada. From coast to coast. From North to South. From city lots to the ends of country dirt roads.
When: The chance to add your voice to the voices of new farmers from across Canada is here now! Please fill the survey out as soon as you can. The survey has been released now, in the winter, so that your time spent filling it out doesn’t compete with time spent weeding. The survey will likely take about 20 minutes of your time.
How: You click on this link. As soon as you click on this link, you will see the introduction to the survey and a consent form. Then you start filling out the survey.
Please share this with any new, aspiring, established, or recently exited farmer you know. Each one will have a unique perspective that will greatly enrich future policy recommendations and the future farming reality in Canada.
We’re trying to get at least 1000 farmers to fill it out. Help us make that happen! Share on Facebook, Share on Twitter, Share through email. Share, Share, Share!
The link to the survey is: www.ruminationsongerminations.com