Farm data nerds, the day is finally here! Canada’s 2016 Census of Agriculture results have arrived—along with some interesting shifts in the sector. Here are some highlights of the good, the bad, and the promising: Farmers are getting older—and younger Farmers 55+ is the fastest growing age group, with the average national age of operators edging up from 54 in 2011 to 55. This trend parallels the general population. On the other hand, this year we saw an increase in the number of farm operators under 35. This is the first time there has been an increase in farmers under 35 since … Continue reading 2016 Census of Agriculture Results Are In!
Name, Farm, Location? We’re Tristan & Aubyn Banwell. As perhaps you’ve heard, we are located upon magnificent Spray Creek Ranch — in the rainshadow of the Coast Mountains, along the Mighty Fraser, in the Upper St’at’imc Territory, 15 km south of Lillooet, BC. What were your goals for this season and how did you work to achieve those? Let’s revisit our spring blog post, where we enumerated a few goals — “We are working to develop a producers’ co-op to coordinate marketing and distribution among our amazing local producers. Our plan is to have a few producers selling to a … Continue reading Business Mentorship – Lessons Learned: Spray Creek Ranch
Shirlene Cote farms Earth Apple Farm, formerly in Burnaby and now in Abbotsford, BC. In the beginning of my mentorship I set some goals for the year and beyond. My goal planning was three-fold (1-year, 3-year and 8-year) and ended up being a page long, so I will offer the condensed version. In the first year I aimed to 1) net more income, 2) secure 2-3 feasible plans for relocating to a new stable long-term farm home in one year and 3) develop and adhere to a self-care plan. In the goal planning process I found it challenging to set … Continue reading Goals, Growing Pains & Going Forward: Earth Apple Farm
Name, Farm, Location? Granite Bay Farm, Quadra Island What were your goals for this season and how did you work to achieve those? To find some kind of balance between raising a young family and growing a farm. The secret for me was simplifying the growing. Focusing on 2 or 3 crops that were easy and enjoyable to grow. Did you meet your goals / Did it work out? It did but it took some getting used to. Part of what I like about market gardening is the diversity that you get to try out. I think that at the … Continue reading Business Mentorship – Lessons Learned: Granite Bay Farm
As most farmer’s seasons are slowly winding down, mine begins. I’ve finally made the leap and moved on Minto Farm here in the Comox Valley to begin my career as owner/operator of Lentelus Organics. Lentelus, Afrikaans for “Spring Joy”, is a nod to my late philosopher/farmer grandfather who named our family farm Lentelus back in South Africa. I grew up spending my school holidays running amuck on the family farm, learning to love rural agriculture in the Bo Kouga. The Young Agrarians mentorship partnered me with Evelyn and Jesse from Terra Nossa farms, a great example of a profitable mixed … Continue reading Business Mentorship – Lessons Learned: Lentelus Organics, Minto Farm
Name, Farm, Location? Brianna van de Wijngaard, Puddle Produce Urban Farms – Williams Lake, BC What were your goals for this season and how did you work to achieve those? My goals were: to start a CSA program with at least 15 subscriptions, to have 10,000 sq ft in production, and to gross at least $25,000 Did you meet your goals / Did it work out? (Explain a bit) Almost. I did start a CSA, and had 16 subscriptions. It worked well; I definitely had to purchase produce from other farms at the end because I didn’t have enough variety, … Continue reading Business Mentorship – Lessons Learned: Puddle Produce
Name, Farm, Location? Tristan Cavers, Michelle Tsutsumi, Annelise Grube-Cavers, Kelsey Snelgrove, Paul Matheson, Golden Ears Farm, Chase, Unceded Secwepemc Territory What were your goals for this season and how did you work to achieve those? Our goals for the season were: To navigate a new model on the farm (shifting from a model of everyone who lives on the farm also works on the farm to one where everyone has their own enterprise, leaving only 2 out of 5 full-time residents working in the market garden) Figuring out how to farm with a toddler in tow, as well as Gaining clarity on … Continue reading Business Mentorship – Lessons Learned: Golden Ears Farm
Name, Farm, Location? Gemma McNeill and Doug Zaklan, Zaklan Heritage Farm, Surrey BC. What were your goals for this season and how did you work to achieve those? This season our goal was to increase our CSA box program from 25 boxes to 50 boxes. As the spring drew near we realized that we probably would have to work really hard to get the extra sign ups to reach 50 members, and that we felt more comfortable with 40 members. So we adjusted our CSA goal and played with the budget accordingly. We reached our membership goal of 40 for the season. … Continue reading Business Mentorship – Lessons Learned: Zaklan Heritage Farm
DEADLINE EXTENDED: Sunday, November 8th, 2015 Are you a young (or young at heart) animal or vegetable producer located in British Columbia? Are you running a farm and are looking for guidance in continuing to grow your business? Once again we are running our BC Business Mentorship Network which will pair new farmers with some of the veterans of small scale agriculture to cultivate the skills for running ecologically sustainable and financially viable businesses. Mentors will work to help you analyze your operations and chart a course to move forward towards financial sustainability. See what our 2014/2015 mentees have been up to this season! … Continue reading BC Business Mentorship Network – Apply Now!
Partners for Growth Advisory Services is proud to be presenting another Agri-Food Business Planning Workshop! WHEN: September 28th – 29th, 2015 WHERE: Abbotsford Agricultural Centre 1767 Angus Campbell 8:30AM-4:30PM COST: $105 (includes GST) w/ Lunch Provided The workshop is for both professional development and building up your network. It is a great opportunity to either build-out or refresh your business plan! This is a program funded by the Ministry of Agriculture, and is perfect for those that are thinking of starting up and/or have an existing Agri-Food/Beverage Processing or Farming Business. Please see the image below for detailed course information: We are very … Continue reading SEPT 28-29: Agri-Food Business Planning Workshop, Abbotsford, BC