Young Agrarians (YA) is a network and program platform 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 2011, 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.).
What Guides Us:
Agriculture, Agro-Ecology, Agrarianism, Capacity Building, Celebration, Collaboration, Community, 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
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 B.C.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
As of April 1, 2019- YA is a program of Agrarians Foundation (AF), whose mission is to educate the public by providing courses, seminars, workshops, and counselling about agriculture, farming, food processing, entrepreneurship, community economic development and environmental sustainability.
Young Agrarians began in B.C. as a program of FarmFolk CityFolk (FFCF) January 2012 to March 2019. FFCF is a registered Canadian Charity that works to cultivate a local, sustainable food system. Since 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. Thank you to FFCF for incubating YA!
Young Agrarians in Alberta is a program of Organic Alberta. Organic Alberta is a membership driven non-profit association that represents organics in Alberta. Organic Alberta works to strengthen the organic community through leadership, networking, education, communication and advocacy. Organic Alberta is a collaboration of all stakeholders – from consumers to producers and all those in between. Some of Organic Alberta’s current projects include: Young Agrarians, the Prairie Organic Grain Initiative, the Bauta Seed Security Initiative, and the annual Organic Alberta conference.