New farmers looking to ease themselves into the business will be able to take advantage of a specialized workshop debuting in Ontario later this year.
SUSAN MANN, Better Farming
FarmStart is planning to offer a course for new farmers later this fall or winter that includes experienced farmers telling their stories.
New farmers need more exposure to existing farmers, says executive director Christie Young. “What they really want are experienced farmers to tell them about their stories,” she says.
Including more access to experienced farmers is one of the changes FarmStart is making as it adapts a current workshop called Growing Your Farm Profits, developed by OMAFRA (Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs) and delivered by the Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association (OSCIA), for new farmers. This workshop was offered last winter on a trial basis in Ontario and is similar in style to the Environmental Farm Plan program with a two-day workshop and a workbook. It was mainly geared to established farmers. Organizers are recommending to the provincial and federal governments that the program be offered across Ontario.
FarmStart thought this course could be altered for new farmers. “When they saw the program that we had launched, they approached us,” explains OSCIA executive director Harold Rudy.