Help us support young farmers!

Big News: EFAO will match your donations!
The Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario has generously offered to match new donations (to a maximum of $3,000) towards the 2019 Youth Convergence. EFAO is committed to supporting new and young farmers in Ontario and is pleased to be a partner for this exciting event. Donate today to double your impact!

The National Farmers Union – Ontario is organizing
a convergence for young farmers in 2019, and we need your help to make it happen.


We need young farmers. About 75% of Canada’s farmers plan to retire in the next ten years, and 75% of those have no one to take over their farm. Only 8% of farmers have a written succession plan.

But the challenges to young farmers can feel overwhelming. Farmland prices are skyrocketing. Farm debt has reached record highs as corporate control increases. Climate change is already making farming more difficult. And many new farmers don’t come from a farm background; they don’t have land to inherit or rural support networks.

In March of 2019, we want to bring together young farmers in Ontario for a multi-day convergence of workshops, planning, and skill-sharing. Our participants will tackle everything from practical on-farm problem solving to food justice to Indigenous rights to climate change. We need to raise $8,000 through crowdfunding to make this happen.

To make this event happen, we need support—not only from the agricultural community but from everyone.


Campaign update: Help us break the halfway point!

During the first two weeks of our campaign, we’ve raised over $3000 to support our 2019 youth convergence. We are so happy about this progress and grateful for all of the support from farmers and non-farmers alike.

We really got to see that community support expressed this week at NFU Local 316’s annual Fall Feast. As you can see in the attached video, it was a sold-out dinner with over 100 participants who came together to support young and new farmers, and to eat delicious food donated and prepared by local farmers.

And $1000 from that amazing event has gone toward the crowdfunding campaign for our 2019 youth convergence. We’re almost at the $4000 midpoint of our campaign. Can you help us break through the halfway point?

It makes a big difference for us when you share this campaign with your friends and tell them that you’ve donated. Even a donation of $5 shows young and new farmers that more people care about them. Thanks for your help.


Farmer Profile – Meet Ayla Fenton

Hi, I’m Ayla. I’m a first generation farmer from Kingston, Ontario, and I’m also a Board Member with the NFU. I farm because I want to produce healthy food that takes care of our local ecosystem and feeds my community. But land access is a barrier for young and new farmers like myself, which is why I recently decided to partner with an older couple who owns their own farm business.

Young farmers have to find creative ways to access land but it can be difficult to know where to start. This is why I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to help develop the Ontario Land Access Guide with the NFU-O. The guide provides a comprehensive overview of land access options and general advice for new farmers. But we also face other issues such as lack of support networks and financial security. If we want to secure a local food system in Ontario, we need more networks and resources to support young farmers –and we need your help to make this happen.

Why should you support young farmers? Because your contribution will help us plan a youth gathering in early 2019 to share skills, engage in workshops and plan for more resources that will help us further our success as farmers.

 


Farmer Profile – Meet Aaron Armstrong

Hi, I’m Aaron, and I’m a first generation farmer and the owner of Blue Wheelbarrow Farm in Prince Edward County.

My farm cultivates sustainably grown local vegetables and a strong community. Everybody lives together, works together, and eats together. But I’m not just a farmer – I’m also a Board Member and Youth Representative with the NFU- O, which has allowed me to advocate for other farmers and become a better farmer as a result.

As an NFU member, I was able to act as Vice-Chair of an ad-hoc committee in my county which created a grant program for new and young farmers to help alleviate some of the financial burden that comes with farming. It took a determine group of community members to create this grant. Imagine what we can do with increased support from advocates like you!

Why should you support young farmers? As a young farmer myself, I can tell you that youth gatherings have given me the chance to meet other young farmers from all over the country, which doesn’t happen often. When we gather together, we can see the similarities in our successes and our struggles. And this helps us learn, implement new ideas, and gather advice on how to deal with the political, social, and environmental issues we face as farmers on a daily basis.

Having a network of young farmers can help us establish successful farm businesses so we can continue to feed our local communities

Young farmers like Ayla and Aaron are essential to the future of farming but they need your support. Help support young farmers by contributing today!