Mapping resources for new entrants into sustainable agriculture
We are proud to launch our UMap, an online farmer resource map created for the Young Agrarians community. The first of it’s kind in Canada, the resource map pulls together 13 different search categories of information into one mapping platform with a focus on certified or uncertified organics and farmers in start-up.
Located at youngagrarians.org/umap, the resource map acts as an online hub to connect and engage Young Agrarians by highlighting a diverse array of projects across British Columbia. While the baseline data for the map has been pulled together through research, the map aims to collect more listings through crowdsourcing. Playing on the word U-Pick, the Young Agrarians map has a UMAP form for community members to add their farms, seed suppliers, favourite publications and more.
The UMAP project aims to centralize information for new and existing farmers with the goal of driving more traffic into the sustainable (agro-ecological) farm sector. According to the 2010 Columbia Basin’s BC Sustainability Snapshot report, over 50% of BC farmers are over the age of 59, with less than 5% ages 34 and younger. In an effort to address these statistics, the resource map has been deployed to enable the next generation of farmers to learn about resources in one place, find other farmers in the network, educational programs, funders, loans and more.
“Our goal is ultimately to grow the sector, support new farmers through an active network and connect people to resources. Hopefully, the UMAP will also be a tool to identify resource gaps so we can make the case for those resources to be made available. Growing the next generation of organic (certified or uncertified) food producers is going to take the support of many individuals, organizations, consumers and sectors. We need everyone, from the farmers themselves who grow the food to consumers who purchase it to support local and environmentally-sound food production.” says Sara Dent, Young Agrarians Coordinator.
The map features event and farm listings from the growing Young Agrarians community – as well as markets, organizations, blogs, government resources, and more. Community members are invited to navigate the map by browsing through categories such as “Market”, “Seed” or “Land”, or to search British Columbia via bioregion or keyword.
We invite anyone in the sector to submit a listing to the UMAP through a simple, two-minute process. Once approved, the posting will be shared on the UMAP.
The Resource Map project has been funded by: The Organic Sector
Development Program of British Columbia, Vancity and the Real Estate
Foundation of BC.