Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

December 08, 2009 15:24 ET

Young Farmers: Minister Blackburn Concludes a Series of Productive Meetings With Young Farmers

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 8, 2009) - Minister of National Revenue and Minister of State (Agriculture) Jean-Pierre Blackburn reported on his five-city, cross-Canada tour to meet with young farmers, agricultural academics and industry representatives and discuss farm succession issues.

This sector's challenges are well known and complex, ranging from increasing financial pressures and international competition, to changing consumer and societal demands and shifting technology.

"Speaking with young farmers was extremely rewarding. Across the country, I met young people who are excited about what they do and full of plans, despite the pressures they are facing and the disparities inherent in the industry. These discussions have given me insight into the challenges young farmers are facing and the existing opportunities - whether they are starting out, managing or taking over an existing family farm," said Minister Blackburn. "Only by engaging in these types of discussions can we ensure that our programs are appropriate and working effectively."

Discussions with young farmers covered a wide range of topics relating to the future of agriculture, including farm succession, barriers to entry, leadership planning and ways to address declining enrolment in agricultural university programs. The young farmers also shared their views on the effectiveness of existing government programs aiming to support the long-term viability and competitiveness of the sector, as well as the importance of disseminating information on these programs more effectively.

"I am thankful for the opportunity to learn how they view things and hear their ideas on how we can attract new people and keep farmers in the business," said Minister Blackburn. Now that the tour is over, I plan to review our discussions in depth in order to develop in the near future an action plan that responds to the issues that were raised and that can help young people who are part of farm succession to shape the future of agriculture in Canada in a sustainable way."

The discussions on succession issues were held in Ontario, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Saskatchewan and British Columbia.

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Media Relations
    Office of the Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn
    Sophie Doucet
    Press Secretary
    Cell: 613-608-3252