Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

December 04, 2009 13:47 ET

Young Farmers Get Boost From the Government of Canada

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 4, 2009) - The Government of Canada is investing in the future of agriculture by funding Canada's Outstanding Young Farmers' Program (COYFP). A federal investment of $120,000 - an increase of 20 per cent over the previous funding - will help COYFP continue its 30-year tradition of celebrating progress and excellence in Canadian agriculture.

"For three decades, Canada's Outstanding Young Farmers' Program has been encouraging young farmers to pursue excellence," said Parliamentary Secretary Pierre Lemieux, who made the announcement on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. "The Government of Canada is proud to support such a worthwhile endeavour as we work together to create a bright and prosperous future for young farmers."

"As the future of our industry, these young farmers will help to keep Canada competitive in emerging markets around the world," said the Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of Revenue and Minister of State (Agriculture). "This Government is working very hard to support young farmers."

Each year, COYFP hosts seven regional Outstanding Young Farmers (OYF) competitions across the country, culminating with the national competition at which time two nominees are named as Canada's Outstanding Young Farmers. In addition to celebrating the achievements of the winners, these events also play a major role in increasing the awareness and importance of agriculture in Canada.

"Financial partners are a cornerstone of Canada's Outstanding Young Farmers Program and we are grateful for the continued support of the Government of Canada," said OYF President Richard Stamp. "Agriculture is not immune to financial challenges; and this announcement of increased and longer term support for OYF is tremendous news. Thanks to the Government of Canada, we are better equipped to showcase the achievements of our regional winners at the annual national event, and offer the expertise and innovation of our alumni to a wider community through the OYF Speakers' Bureau."

The Government of Canada's funding comes from the Business Development program under the Growing Forward initiative - the new national agricultural policy framework aimed at building a competitive and innovative sector for all farmers across the country.

This investment in COYFP is just one way the Government of Canada has been supporting the future of the agricultural industry. Through the Economic Action Plan, changes to the Canadian Agricultural Loans Act are improving access to credit for new farmers. As well, Minister Blackburn just wrapped up a series of roundtables with farmers, agricultural students and academia on the future of agriculture and the challenges facing young farmers today.

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Media Relations
    Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
    Meagan Murdoch
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn
    Sophie Doucet
    Press Secretary
    Canada's Outstanding Young Farmers' Program
    Joan Cranston
    Program Manager