Young farmers gather in the Okanagan
Young Agrarians First (ever) Mixer at Summerhill Winery in Kelowna, BC (2012).

Young Agrarians (YA) is a network for new and young ecological and organic farmers. Since we started January 2012, the network has grown across Canada from coast to coast through farmers organizing events (mixers, farm tours & potlucks, apprentice meet-ups, etc.), contributing to the blog, adding resources to the UMAP, and more!

The network is made up of a diverse array of food growers and lovers: rural and urban farmers, market gardeners, seed savers, food activists, bee keepers, community gardeners, food/farmer organizations and more- working to steward land and soil, and grow our local food systems.

Young Agrarians recognizes Indigenous title to all lands in Canada. It is our responsibility to care for and respect the land that we live on and depend upon for water, food and shelter. In a time of climate change, we must all do our part to nurture resilient food systems (local, ecological and equitably produced) choosing with our dollars, values and hands to consume and produce foods that are healthy for us and future generations.

What is a Young Agrarian?

A new entrant into agriculture: someone from the city to the country who values food, farmers, nature and community. Whether you are 3 or 83, please join us! We love agrarians of all ages and sizes. Our core demographic’s age range is 20-40.

Why do we need Young Agrarians?

  • Canada’s farming population is shrinking, reaching a historic low in 2006, according to Statistics Canada figures: while one in three (33%) Canadians used to live on a farm in 1931, that number has plummeted to one in 46 (less than 2%).
  • Population of Canada 33,739,900, # of farmers in Canada 684,260 or 327,055 farm operators (less than 2% of total population).
  • Stats Canada average age of Farmers in 2016 = 55.
  • As of 2016, 24,850, or 9.1%, of Canadian farmers are under 35.
  • $20,000 average yearly net loss for farmers in Canada.
  • 1 in every 2 farmers under 55 report that off farm employment is their main source of income.
  • Land-use changes and fossil fuel burning are the two major sources of the increased CO2 in the atmosphere that is changing the global climate. Overall, land use and land-use changes account for some 31 percent of human-induced greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Livestock now account for 50 percent of emissions from agriculture and land-use change (cow burps, etc.).
  • In British Columbia, according to the Fraser Basin Council’s 2010 Sustainability Snapshot, more than 50% of farmers are aged 59 and up with less than 5% 34 and younger.

What Guides Us:

Agriculture, Agro-Ecology, Agrarianism, Capacity Building, Celebration, Collaboration, Community, Crowdsourcing, Diversity, Ecology, Education, Food, Food Sovereignty, Inclusion, Farmers + Migrant Workers + Indigenous Rights, Inspiration, Land-Access, Mentorship, Networks, Participatory Frameworks, Partnerships,Resource Mapping, Start-up Financing, Sustainability, Transparency

All the young agrarians in the boat at BC Food Systems 2012 at Camp Fircom on Gabriola Island.
All the young agrarians in the boat at BC Food Systems 2012 at Camp Fircom on Gabriola Island.

What does Young Agrarians (YA) do?

YA is both an on-line and off-line community building project.

ONLINE: YA aggregates data for the ecological farm sector across Canada (UMAP), posts opportunities and content on our farmer blog, and works to engage an inspiring network of new and young farmers, food growers, homesteaders and farm lovers. Our social media channels are buzzing! Join the conversation @youngagrarians. Hashtag #youngagrarians and grow the network. Visit our TOOLS section to find: business resources, job and apprenticeship opportunities, prospective land to farm and downloadable tools (BC Land Access Guide, Lease and License templates).

OFFLINE: In B.C., we offer and on and off-farm events series, business mentorships, and land access programming. Events range from farm tours and potlucks to one to two day mixers, small-scale farming workshops and more. We are currently offering a Business Mentorship program that pairs up new farms in start-up with experienced mentors; and are piloting Quebec’s successful land matching program (Banque de terres agricoles) in the Fraser Valley / Metro Vancouver region.

ALBERTA: Organic Alberta is hosting Young Agrarians programming and is coordinating an on-going EVENT SERIES and ALBERTA APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM!

Help us build the network!  YA is looking for collaborators!  Are you doing great stuff in your community already around local food and farming?  Get in touch: farm@youngagrarians.org.

8457771902_e3028c1ac5_o

FarmFolk CityFolk

Young Agrarians is happy to partner with FarmFolk CityFolk! FarmFolk CityFolk (FFCF) is a not for profit society and registered Canadian Charity that works to cultivate a local, sustainable food system. Since October 1993, FFCF has been supporting community-based food systems by engaging in public education with farm and city folks; actively organizing and advocating around local, timely issues; building alliances with other organizations; and harnessing the energy of volunteers.  FFCF’s current projects include: Foodland Trust Initiative, the Bauta Seed Security Initiative, Community Farms, Get Local, Microloan Program, Shared Harvest BC and Young Agrarians.

To download our outreach document to share with your networks, click here: About Young Agrarians.

YA-crossbonesSOLID-oct18