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Feds invest in opportunities for Canadian youth in agriculture


May 9, 2022
By Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

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Agriculture and Agri-Food canada has announced an investment of up to $2.1 million for three organizations to support development opportunities for Canadian youth in agriculture.

Canadian 4-H Council (4-H Canada) will receive up to $1.8 million over two years to develop new curriculum and resources that empower youth through leadership programs, aimed at growing their practical knowledge and skills in key areas concerning Canadian agriculture. Through this project, 4-H Canada will reach an increased number of youth in diverse audiences, create new mentorship opportunities and advance awareness of Canadian agriculture, food literacy and exciting careers in the agri-food sector.

“4-H Canada is grateful for the support from AAFC, as it allows us to empower even more youth across Canada. From conferences to internships to outreach activities that focus on innovation, inclusion, business excellence and growth, our goal is to empower youth to be responsible, caring, and contributing leaders who effect positive change in the world around them,” says Shannon Benner, CEO, 4-H Canada. Established more than 100 years ago, 4-H Canada is one of the country’s most well-respected positive youth development organizations. 4-H in Canada has more than 23,500 members and 7,800 volunteers.

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Canadian Young Farmers’ Forum (CYFF) will receive up to $195,168 over two years to build industry capacity and provide training and education to young farmers across Canada. With this support, CYFF create new initiatives to address specific needs for the reality young farmers are facing today, in order to provide them with the additional knowledge and skills required to increase their operations’ profitability and efficiency.

“We appreciate AAFC’s matching contribution to our organization’s activities, as it will be used for a variety of learning opportunities. The goal is to create exceptional young agvocates for agriculture by building strong leaders, encouraging young women and men and other diverse groups and addressing mental health and business planning, so that our young farmers can remain resilient for years to come,” says Guenette Bautz, General Manager, Canadian Young Farmers’ Forum.

Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers (COYF) will receive up to $119,724 over two years to support its seven regional recognition events, as well as its three-day national recognition event. These events are held each year to recognize young farmers who exemplify excellence in their profession and to promote the tremendous contribution of agriculture to Canada and its economy. Funding will also be used to increase agriculture awareness and support the continued positive growth of public trust in the agricultural sector. Canadian Young Farmers’ Forum is a national, not-for-profit organization established in 1997. Together with 11 provincial/territorial Young Farmers associations, it provides development opportunities for young farmers aged 18 – 40 across Canada.

“Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmer Program is appreciative of AAFC’s continued support. Their financial assistance allows the program to showcase outstanding young farmers (ages 18-39) who exemplify excellence in Canadian agriculture at its seven regional recognition events and annual national event. We appreciate being able to share the recognition events virtually and posting them to our website and social media channels. They are great ‘good news’ agriculture stories worth sharing with the public,” says Steve Cooper, Chair, Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers. Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers Program recognizes young farmers who exemplify excellence in their profession. It is an annual competition, open to participants 18 to 39 years of age. Seven regional competitions lead up to the national event where two national winners are chosen each year.