By: Emily Van Halem
Publication: Shamless, January 20, 2012

Looking for a job? Check your local classifieds and you’ll find that many types of ads abound. But have you ever seen a “Farmers Wanted” ad? I haven’t. Nevertheless, the agricultural sector in Canada is in desperate need of help.

In the next ten years 75% of existing farmers are going to reach retirement age with few prospects of replacement. Pause to ponder the gravity of this situation. Who will grow our food? Will we become totally dependent on industrial farms and imported food? Are we comfortable with relying on imported labour? What do these things mean for food prices and quality? What implications do they have for the social and economic fabric of rural communities?

Leave it to young people to face these questions head on. Despite an aging farmer population and uncertain finances, there is a small but steadily growing number of young farmers who have the courage, dedication, passion and ingenuity to turn conventional farming on its head and are making a go at it in new and exciting ways. Who are they and how are they doing it?

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