Beginning Farmer Programming


Beginning a career in farming can be an exciting, yet challenging endeavor. In 2011, the average age of a farm operator in Ontario was 55 years old, and the number continues to rise. Only 8% of farm operators were under 35 years old. As our farming population ages, there will continue to be many opportunities for youth and new Canadians to pursue a rewarding career in farming.
However, there are several challenges for a new operator, including: access to land, access to capital and financing, risk mitigation, business management skills, scalability, marketing, and many more. The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) delivers resources and programming for beginning farmers listed below, in addition to organizations such as the Junior Farmers’ Association of Ontario. The Canadian Young Farmers’ Forum is an annual event hosted by Farm Credit Canada.
The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) believes beginning farmers should have access to programming that assists them in operating a successful farm business. Business risk management (BRM) programs have been designed to enable beginning farmers to take advantage of these programs. OFA will continue to advocate for the next generation of farm families.

OFA Fact Sheets

Piecing Together the Farmland Tax Puzzle - Information for Beginning Farmers
(February 24, 2017)

OFA Young Farmer Field Facts - Succession Planning
(March 1, 2014)

Submissions & Correspondence

OFA submission to OMAFRA's Farms Forever Consultation
(June 29, 2017)

OFA submission regarding Northern Ag Strategy
(June 29, 2016)

Additional Information

FarmLINK: Are you a new farmer?
(December 7, 2016)

Starting a Farm in Ontario - OMAFRA
(December 7, 2016)

Youth in Agriculture - Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada
(December 7, 2016)

Financial Management Resources - OMAFRA
(December 6, 2016)

Programs and Services for Ontario Farmers
(August 1, 2016)


Ideas for beginning farmers shared at summit
(March 23, 2009 - Beginning Farmer Programming)

Diversified agri-food sector to drive northern growth
(July 14, 2016 - Land Use Policy & Farmland Preservation, Rural Economic Development, Agri-Food Research, Environmental, Farm Labour & Safety, Farm Finance, Beginning Farmer Programming, Transportation, Local Food, Climate Change, Agri-Skills Training)

What’s more important than Farms Forever?
(May 12, 2017 - Land Use Policy & Farmland Preservation, Beginning Farmer Programming, Local Food)

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