Group aims to fire up farmers of the future

Farm Start, a Guelph, Ont.-based organization, helps people from non-farming backgrounds get into the industry.

JON TATTRIE,  METRO CANADA,  FEBRUARY 17, 2010

Planting at McVean

For the month of February, Metro’s Workology section will be focusing on some delicious food-related careers. Check back every Wednesday for a new feature.

Canadian farming is heading for a disaster as fewer and fewer farming children continue the family business.

“In the next ten years, about 80 per cent of the agricultural assets in the country are going to be transferred,” says Christie Young, director of Ontario’s Farm Start. “We’re going to have a massive crisis in the agricultural sector because we don’t have the infrastructure set up to get people into farming.”

Conversely, that means it’s a great time to get into farming. Farm Start, a Guelph, Ont.-based organization, helps people from non-farming backgrounds get into the industry. Some come with university degrees in agriculture and others are second-career farmers.

Farm Start begins with a four-day explorer course. “It’s a time for people to think really critically about whether this is the right career for them and what it means to be a farmer,” Young says.

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