We want to grow the next generation of ecological farmers in BC. Our ideal future would be that new and young farmers are able to thrive, and that people everywhere –from all socioeconomic backgrounds – are able to access healthy foods. We want good, ecologically grown food to become the heart of our culture and the way by which we protect and steward our environments.
- Sara Dent, Young Agrarians Coordinator
Founded in the early 1990s, Farm Folk/City Folk (FFCF) works to protect farmland, support farmers and producers, and to connect both farm and city in the cultivation of a local sustainable food system. In partnership with FFCF, Young Agrarians is a grassroots initiative that works to grow the next generation of farmers in BC. This group of movers and shakers is made up of young agriculturalists, farmers, market and community gardeners, food activists, academics, and organizations that want to rebuild, promote and inspire agriculture in Canada.
Planting Seeds for Growth
In 2006 and 2008, FFCF started working with Vancity Community Foundation to establish two Donor Advised Funds to support their long-term vision and goals. The Farm Folk City Folk Funds not only support FFCF’s work, but they also include a provision to invest the capital assets toward agricultural land purchases.
Four Reasons Why We need Young Agrarians
- Canada’s farming population is shrinking. While one in three Canadians used to live on a farm in 1931, by 2006 that number had plummeted to one in 46.
- The average age of a farmer today is 56-years-old.
- The average net loss for a Canadian farmer today is $20,000/annually.
- 1 in every 2 farmers under the age of 55 report that off-farm employment is their main source of income.
The Young Agrarians Call to Action
- Recognize everywhere that our homes are on Indigenous lands and food sheds. (Acknowledge that whenever possible.)
- Get to know who grows your food.
- Find out who the local, new and young farmers are in your area and support them.
- Try farming for a season – you may just love it!
- Grow food wherever possible.
- Share food with your neighbours.
- Be that kind of society – socially progressive and rooted in the earth we live on.
- For more on this story, read FarmFolk CityFolk: Local Food is the Height of Good Taste (Vancity, Stories of Impact)