While our seed capital does not provide a significant amount of money in the long run budget of a farm operation – we feel they help support the human capital that is more important in the long-term viability of a farm operation. The small gift and the support that comes with it, acts as a vote of confidence at a critical moment in the career of a prospective farmer. By meeting with a knowledgeable coach, farmers are connected with resources and valuable mentors.
The recipient farmers then pass on the value of the grant in three ways:
- Seed or livestock gifts to new farmers,
- Mentorship and support and training opportunities for other new farmers, and
- Produce donations to community food banks or drop in meal centers.
We have found that the process creates an invaluable sense of community and practical connections between new farmers and their communities and greatly increases the impact of the original gift.
Over the last 3 years we have directly helped 30 new Canadian farmers, many of of our McVean farmer as well as to several other farmers in locations such as the Holland Marsh, Cambridge and London.
The funding for the program has ended. But we are currently reviewing our past experience and making plans to expand and diversify the program and funding sources. We hope to make this program available across Ontario in the coming years.
If you wish to help provide Seed Capital for a new generation of farmers – please visit our Support Us page.