Government of Canada invests in the future generation of agricultural leaders

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Source: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Canada’s young farmers are helping to strengthen our agriculture and agri-food sector through their leadership and innovative contributions. Today, the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, announced an investment of up to $2.1 million for three organizations to support development opportunities for Canadian youth in agriculture.

With funds under the AgriCompetitiveness Program, these organizations will deliver important programming and initiatives that help to develop the future generation of agricultural leaders.

Canadian 4-H Council (4-H Canada) will receive up to $1.8 million over two years to develop new curriculum and resources that empower youth through leadership programs, aimed at growing their practical knowledge and skills in key areas concerning Canadian agriculture. Through this project, 4-H Canada will reach an increased number of youth in diverse audiences, create new mentorship opportunities and advance awareness of Canadian agriculture, food literacy and exciting careers in the agri-food sector.

Canadian Young Farmers’ Forum (CYFF) will receive up to $195,168 over two years to build industry capacity and provide training and education to young farmers across Canada. With this support, CYFF create new initiatives to address specific needs for the reality young farmers are facing today, in order to provide them with the additional knowledge and skills required to increase their operations’ profitability and efficiency.

Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers (COYF) will receive up to $119,724 over two years to support its seven regional recognition events, as well as its three-day national recognition event. These events are held each year to recognize young farmers who exemplify excellence in their profession and to promote the tremendous contribution of agriculture to Canada and its economy. Funding will also be used to increase agriculture awareness and support the continued positive growth of public trust in the agricultural sector.

Young farmers are passionate and entrepreneurial, eagerly paving the way with fresh perspectives to meet the changing needs of tomorrow. The Government of Canada will continue to support opportunities for youth who are securing the future of Canada’s agriculture sector and ensuring a resilient food supply chain.

Quotes

“Canadian youth are the future of our sector. These three projects provide our next generation of farmers with opportunities to learn and develop their leadership skills. As they move toward their full potential, they are supporting the vitality of agriculture for future generations to come.”

–   The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

“4-H Canada is grateful for the support from AAFC, as it allows us to empower even more youth across Canada. From conferences to internships to outreach activities that focus on innovation, inclusion, business excellence and growth, our goal is to empower youth to be responsible, caring, and contributing leaders who effect positive change in the world around them.”

–   Shannon Benner, CEO, 4-H Canada

“We appreciate AAFC’s matching contribution to our organization’s activities, as it will be used for a variety of learning opportunities. The goal is to create exceptional young agvocates for agriculture by building strong leaders, encouraging young women and men and other diverse groups and addressing mental health and business planning, so that our young farmers can remain resilient for years to come.”

–   Guenette Bautz, General Manager, Canadian Young Farmers’ Forum

“Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmer Program is appreciative of AAFC’s continued support. Their financial assistance allows the program to showcase outstanding young farmers (ages 18-39) who exemplify excellence in Canadian agriculture at its seven regional recognition events and annual national event. We appreciate being able to share the recognition events virtually and posting them to our website and social media channels. They are great ‘good news’ agriculture stories worth sharing with the public.”

–   Steve Cooper, Chair, Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers

Quick facts

  • The funding announced today is provided through a federal investment under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership’s AgriCompetitiveness Program, which helps the agricultural sector leverage, coordinate and build on existing capacity, enhance safety, adapt to changing commercial and regulatory environments, seize new opportunities, share best practices, and provide mentorship opportunities.
  • The Canadian Agricultural Partnership is a five-year, $3 billion investment by federal, provincial and territorial governments to strengthen the agriculture and agri-food sector.
  • Established more than 100 years ago, 4-H Canada is one of the country’s most well-respected positive youth development organizations. 4-H in Canada has more than 23,500 members and 7,800 volunteers.
  • Canadian Young Farmers’ Forum is a national, not-for-profit organization established in 1997. Together with 11 provincial/territorial Young Farmers associations, it provides development opportunities for young farmers aged 18 – 40 across Canada.
  • Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers Program recognizes young farmers who exemplify excellence in their profession. It is an annual competition, open to participants 18 to 39 years of age. Seven regional competitions lead up to the national event where two national winners are chosen each year.

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