As being a Young farmer there are several benefits and challenges. The average age of farmers in Canada is 55, and they are starting to look at getting out of the business in the next several years. With farmers looking to retire they may or may not have someone to take over the farm. If they do not all the knowledge that has been gained on the farm is lost.
In Canada there is a Young Farmers organization in every province and in the Yukon. In PEI we meet every second Tuesday of the month from October through to August. A Young Farmer is a farmer or someone interested in Agriculture under the age of 40. All people are more than welcome to join us.
At our monthly meetings, we have at least one guest speaker that comes out to help with education in different areas. From programs put on by the government to commodity updates. We also have social events (family skate, curling bonspiel, Harvest party etc.)
The PEI group stays in contact with the Dept. of Agriculture, and meets with the Minister of Agriculture. We approached the Minister about the Landbank last March, before the election.
Carey is serving her second term on the PEI Board.
PEI Young Farmers do partner with the other Maritime Provinces for professional development days as well.There is also a Canadian Organization that all the Provincial organizations fall under. It is the Canadian Young Farmers’ Forum (CYFF). CYFF has its AGM and conference in February each year. This year it is currently being held in Halifax. Some of the session topics include: Succession planning, Board Engagement vs. Delegation, Business/Strategic planning, Feeding the 9 Billion Environmentally, Embracing Change on the farm and others. We also had the pleasure of having Michael “Pinball” Clemons come for a motivational talk.
Michael "Pinball" Clemons signing autographs at CYFF
As a group Young farmers all face the same challenges from coast to coast, and North to South. We work together within the provinces and within the Canadian organization to support each other and face the challenges. Some of us farm a few acres, some farm tens of thousands of acres. In the end we all need to work together to try and achieve a common goal.
For more information on Young Farmers in PEI, or across Canada please feel free to contact us.