In cooperation with the Kawartha Heritage Conservancy and the Ontario Farmland Trust, the FarmLink website was launched in 2008. By creating online profiles, new farmers, farmland owners and established farmers from across the province are able to communicate with one another and establish various land agreements. The FarmLink Matchmaker tool was set up to allow new farmers who are looking for land or mentorships to partner with farm owners and established farmers who have land available or expertise to share. Over the past few weeks, FarmStart has begun surveying FarmLink participants in order to better gauge the overall effectiveness of the website.
Farmland owners and new farmers are giving FarmStart staff invaluable knowledge about FarmLink that will help shape the future direction of the website. While it’s clear that there remain challenges in creating effective farming matches, there’s also been a strong supportive voice to continue FarmLink operations. FarmLink was initially established to help protect the Ontario agricultural sector and act as another tool to propel ecological farming practices further. At FarmStart, we believe that FarmLink can continue to be an avenue to achieve this kind of vision. We are currently finding ways to better support individuals who are in the process of pursuing land agreements on FarmLink, especially in the area of farm succession planning.
In the near future, FarmStart will be sending out e-mail surveys to FarmLink participants who have not already completed a phone questionnaire. Your feedback is important to us and will help inform the future of FarmLink. We thank all individuals who take the time to participate in our survey.
Stay tuned for more FarmLink updates as we continue evaluating the website.
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