Young Agrarians comes to Manitoba!
On December 7, 38 farmers and food lovers gathered at the beautiful Rackham hall near Riding Mountain National Park for a Young Agrarians Mixer. Being one of the first Young Agrarians gatherings in Manitoba, we spent time getting to know each other and discussing the needs and opportunities for new and existing farmers in the region.
We met people raising livestock, organic grain, doing marketing gardening, growing mushrooms and of course much, much more! We shared laughs, ideas and of course some amazing food!
Ryan Ryan Pengelly of Tamarack Farms near Erickson, MB spoke getting his farm started and opportunities in small grains like quinoa and producing pastured pork. He shared that the biggest thing supporting his start up has been networking and connecting with community.
When Ryan was thinking of getting out of farrowing pigs so that he could spend more time with family, a group of farming friends around him created the Swine Stewardship Sharing Strategy. They didn’t want to see Ryan’s work on the heritage Hereford breed go to waste and were buying weanlings from Tamarack Farms so they got together and worked out how they could share the chores and collectively keep the sow herd going. Each person spends one or two days a week on chores and are collectively learning how to raise pigs from farrow to finish. And wouldn’t you have it piglets arrived the morning after the mixer with lots of hands available to make sure momma pig and the piglets were warm and cozy!
Participants had time to lead discussions on topics of their choice and to talk perhaps about some of the things rolling around in their minds on those quiet days on the tractor or weeding the garden. We talked about:
- What the rural landscape will look like in the next decades
- How farmers fit into local economies
- Raising and managing pastured pigs
- Growing mushrooms and wildcrafting
- What’s involved in apprenticeships and internships
We wrapped up with an amazing potluck with probably the record of the most crock pots per capita. And with a great jam session.
Big thank you to Peavey Mart for making this event possible and helping us to grow the network of beginning and new farmers in Manitoba!