Young and Beginning Farmers
Young farmer enterprises, which include enterprises operated by one or more young farmers between the ages of 18 and 39 years, accounted for 7.5% of Canadian farms in 2010 and earned more from both farm and non-farm sources compared to older farm enterprises.
As a young or beginning farmer, you are essential to the renewal of the Canadian agriculture sector. Your enthusiasm, innovation and expertise will help keep Canada competitive and ensure a strong presence in emerging markets worldwide.
On this page, you'll find programs, training, organizations and resources to help you succeed.
Programs and services
The following programs provide funding and support to help your business continue to innovate and remain competitive.
- Advance Payments Program
Provides producers with a cash advance based on the value of their agricultural products.
- Agricultural Youth Green Jobs Initiative
Funds internships for post-secondary graduates working in the agriculture industry. These internships would include activities or projects that benefit the environment.
Offers protection against the financial impacts of production losses caused by hail, drought, flooding, disease and other natural hazards.
Offers protection against large declines in farm income caused by circumstances such as low prices, rising input costs and production losses.
Helps cover income declines and supports investments that help mitigate risks.
- Canadian Agricultural Loans Act Program
Increases the availability of loans to new and existing farmers to establish, improve or develop their farms. Farmers can also have access to credit for land, the construction or improvement of buildings, or other loan purposes.
- Career Focus Program
Provides employers with a subsidy of up to $20,000 for providing an agricultural internship to a recent graduate in agriculture, agri-food, agri-food science and veterinary medicine.
You can also use AgPal to find agriculture-related federal, provincial and territorial programs and services that are relevant to your needs.
Your provincial or territorial government may also offer other programs and services for young and beginning farmers.
Training and learning
- Farm Credit Canada offers free events tailored for anyone involved with Canadian agriculture.
- AgriTalent is a database of agriculture training and learning programs offered across Canada.
- AgCareers provides access to post-secondary and continuing education programs in North America.
- Farm Link matches you with established farmers for mentoring relationships, business partnerships, employment or land transfers.
- Both the Canadian Faculties of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine and the Canadian Association of Diploma in Agriculture Programs web sites list educational institutions offering agricultural programs.
Organizations and resources
- 4-H Canada is a youth organization for young people between the ages of 8 and 21.
- Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council researches, develops and communicates solutions to the challenges in employment and skills development in primary agriculture.
- Canadian Agricultural Safety Association is national non-profit organization dedicated to improving the health and safety of farmers, their families and workers.
- Canadian Outstanding Young Farmers Program awards and recognizes young farmers that exemplify excellence in their profession.
- Canadian Young Farmers' Forum provides education, leadership training and capacity building for young agriculture producers in Canada.
- Community Information Database provides access to over 900 economic, social, and demographic indicators.
- Farm Management Canada is a national organization dedicated to providing resources to enable Canadian farmers to make sound management decisions.
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