Jean-Pierre Blackburn, minister of state for agr icul ture, has announced a National Future Farmers Network and the official launch of a new section on the Agriculture and Agri -Food Canada website devoted entirely to young farmers: www.agr.gc.ca/youngfarmers.
This new section responds to the issues raised at the five round tables held by Blackburn last fall with young farmers, agricultural students, academics and other industry stakeholders to attain a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing young and beginning farmers. The website section will provide better access to information on tools, programs and services available to young farmers.
“The discussions with young farmers gave me a better understanding of the complexity and variety of challenges young farmers are facing in getting established in agriculture or taking over the family farm, and we are committed to improving existing tools and programs to ensure that Canada’s young farmers have what they need to succeed,” he said in a release.
“This new section will serve as a starting point for young people interested in farming by providing information on the national and regional tools, programs and services available to them. The section will also include an elect ronic copy of the round table report,” he explained.
Honouring his ongoing commitment to seek input directly from farmers Blackburn also announced that he will hold a National Future Farmers Network in the fall to bring together young and beginning farmers as well as industry leaders and provincial and federal government representatives.
The National Future Farmers Network is in keeping with the minister’s promise to develop a “young farmers lens” to get government bodies to systematically take young farmers’ concerns into consideration when planning their actions and developing policies and programs.
To find the new website section or to obtain a copy of the round table report, go to www.agr.gc.ca/youngfarmers.