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Canadian Government Looking For Input From Young Farmers...Comment Here.

Young Farmers - Lend Your Voice to the Future of Agriculture!

CFBMC News Release

Earlier this week, the Minister's office announced the honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn is seeking input from across Canada on the key challenges and issues facing young and future farmers.

CFBMC would like to give you, its partners, an opportunity to contribute your ideas.
- What should be done to assist new and upcoming producers?
- How can the federal government (Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada) help new and young farmers start their business and capture more opportunities to grow and diversify their businesses?

Your suggestions, recommendations and comments will be compiled and incorporated into a briefing note, which we will present to Minister Blackburn on behalf of ourselves (CFBMC) and our partners.

Your responses can be emailed to info@cfbmc.com. Please include 'Blackburn' in the subject line.

We also encourage you to share your demographic information - Are you a...young/beginning farmer, established producer, consultant? What region of the country do you reside in?

The official Press Release regarding Blackburn's initiative is below.



MINISTER BLACKBURN TO DISCUSS ISSUES FACING YOUNG FARMERS


OTTAWA, Ontario, November 9, 2009 - Farmers, agriculture students and academics from across the country will get an opportunity to discuss the key challenges facing young farmers and the future of agriculture through roundtable discussions with Minister of National Revenue and Minister of State (Agriculture) Jean-Pierre Blackburn over the next few weeks.

"I believe Canada's young and future farmers have a unique perspective on the issues facing the agriculture industry," said Minister Blackburn. "These dialogues will be valuable in helping to bring their voices to the forefront and ensure their ideas are put into action."

The roundtables will focus on identifying key issues for young people who want to farm and on charting solutions that will help new and young farmers start their business, capture more opportunities to grow and diversify their businesses.

"We want to be sure that the programs we deliver hit the target for Canada's young farmers," said Minister Blackburn. "These roundtables will allow us to exchange with the experts themselves and ensure their ideas are given due importance in the elaboration of future policies."

This week and next, Minister Blackburn is holding roundtable meetings with farmers, agriculture students and academics in Ontario, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Saskatchewan and British Columbia as part of an ongoing commitment to get input directly from farmers when developing agricultural policies.

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Joe - Noticed your posting about the Blackburn Tour. Just letting you know that I was one of the participants in the Guelph Young Farmer portion of his Tour. Check out: AM920.ca
It was the first "roundtable" meeting that I have attended where the Gov't people did not defend nor promote their current programs - no sales pitches. Just listening and encouraging conversation. The gov't people were just writing notes as we all spoke. Minister Blackburn asked two or three questions over the two hours and that was it. Once we were done the Minister read back all his notes and it pretty much summed up all of the two hours.
Afterwards I spoke with an Ag Canada staff person about the Pork programs from the Federal Gov't and he realizes they actually are not much when considering the losses in our industry.
Otherwise - I wonder what will come of this.
The final part of the meeting the Minister was quite frank in stating this was a mandate from the Prime Minister and there may be a different Minister in place before this is finished since there is a revolving door when it comes to being a Minister.
Way better than any other meeting I have had with a Federal or Provincial Minister.

Take care,
Yes Wayne, I have found on every occasion I attended those meetings, that the representatives were cordial, intelligent, attentive and sincere.

But they don't make policy.

In one of the last rounds there was a coordinated effort to relay 2 important messages and truly hoped it would be included in the final report.

PROFIT, PROFIT, PROFIT.

AUDIT, AUDIT, AUDIT.

That message was relayed at a number of locations. Did you read that in the final report?

Neither did I.

In light of the recent acknowledgmenst of drastic funding cuts to agriculture, I have to assume the current round of discussions will, again, be an exercise in futility on the farmers behalf. Consultants will be paid, not farmers.
Well I have to take the other side of the coin here...

Young farmers are being asked to comment. If you don't comment you have no right to complain.
You can't just assume that if you did comment you would be ignored and it wouldn't make a difference.

I hold the same personal opinion about politics, if you don't vote when you have the chance you have absolutely no right whatsoever to complain about the outcomes.

I would encourage all to take advantage of these sessions and let your voice be heard.
I know there are positive young people out there that want to make Ontario Ag a better industry!

Sara
Verbalizing comments at a public forum is not the same as casting a vote.

Hearing comments and listening to them are also 2 different things.

Going to a forum that presents scripted questions with narrowly defined parameters that ultimately guide participates to pre-conceived conclusions is hardly amassing autonomous opinions.
I did read all the responses and like to make one comment.
Like it or not this is A WAY to bring forward what and how you feel the future of the industry needs to be shaped.
And you young farmers cannot afford not be involved.
Make the best of it.
i would like to start farming, but its not as if there is a manual or handbook or anything to help you start lol!!! I am finding unless your ancestors were farmers, a city boy like myself. its near impossible to start.
Aaron,

Please take a look at Farm Start for example. There are a lot of resources out there to help new farmers...even city boys!

http://www.farmstart.ca/

The objective of FarmStart is to support and encourage a new generation of farmers to develop locally based, ecologically sound and economically viable agricultural enterprises.

There are many challenges in agriculture today but there are also many exciting opportunities. By thinking about agriculture in new and innovative ways we can meet the challenges head on with a variety of solutions that promote a sustainable, healthy and regional food supply.

Successful farms make important contributions to the health and vibrancy of both rural and urban communities. FarmStart encourages new farmers to engage in entrepreneurial strategies that creatively turn challenges into opportunities.

Thanks,

Sara

Aaron said:
i would like to start farming, but its not as if there is a manual or handbook or anything to help you start lol!!! I am finding unless your ancestors were farmers, a city boy like myself. its near impossible to start.
thanks, that I am looking at. There are a lot of good information on that.
Joann,

I am understanding your frustrations. For your information - I have not read any report that suggests that farming does not need a profit. I have no clue about what "in one of the last rounds" you are referring to.
First off - I am going to assume you have not attended the same meetings with Ministers and Government types that I have. If you have, you would understand my point that this past one was the "first one" referring to the remarks I made about it. But you were not at that meeting on November 9th.
The only other government type meeting I was pleased with was in Queens Park a couple years ago where we were asking for money for the REACH in Clinton - which we got.
Be skeptical of government all you want. The original intent of this note posted by Joe was to ask what should be said at the meeting that he has the opportunity to make sure the comments get into the meeting. By arguing about attending these meetings does absolutely nothing to help the cause of young beginning farmers.
The representatives at the meeting are the ones involved with setting policy - the meetings I attend anyway. Profit was heard many times over. But it was also used with skepticism.
So - let's work towards the betterment of agriculture and answer Joe's questions.
Please, because I have not seen anything in the past hour that makes me happy to be considered a farmer.

Joann said:
Yes Wayne, I have found on every occasion I attended those meetings, that the representatives were cordial, intelligent, attentive and sincere.

But they don't make policy.

In one of the last rounds there was a coordinated effort to relay 2 important messages and truly hoped it would be included in the final report.

PROFIT, PROFIT, PROFIT.

AUDIT, AUDIT, AUDIT.

That message was relayed at a number of locations. Did you read that in the final report?

Neither did I.

In light of the recent acknowledgmenst of drastic funding cuts to agriculture, I have to assume the current round of discussions will, again, be an exercise in futility on the farmers behalf. Consultants will be paid, not farmers.
let's go back to the days when there were junior farm loans this some fourty years ago or more
My worst subject at school was history I did not care about what happened yesterday and years ago when I was trying to grow up.
however I did find out that if you understand the past you are able find a direction for tomorrow.
potato famine,
II think some powers are trying to develop the swine famine, this week the hearing starts for the appeal launched on the ruling made by the farm products marketing commission

Joann said:
Rien: As a children of an immigrants, our lessons of Canadian history were taught through government approved curriculum. The history of agriculture was merely a token side lesson for the most part. You could sum it up in 2 words..."Potato Famine"... and the rest is quiet history.

A few years ago a question was posed on a public forum. Who can dissolve the marketing boards in Canada?

A seemingly simple question morphed into a exhaustive search of farmers rights (mostly in Ontario) with a total lack of support from our elected officials. Getting information from them was like pulling teeth from a chicken.

But there are a number of active groups that are now quietly interested in the topic. The little "puzzle" (as we affectionately call it) does have a prize.

Property rights.

Constitutionally protected property rights.

Constitutionally protected marketing licenses.

Constitutionally protected rights to EVERY road in Ontario.... the railroad being of prime interest. (Thank you Steve Peters).

Agriculture is the foundation of this great country. You know what happens when people ignore foundations.
Aaron- you could also check out STEP UP. This is a program that matches young people interested in farming with an experienced farmer in the sector of agriculture you are interested in.
Here's the link for more information: http://www.farmcentre.com/Features/TheNewFarmer/Resources/StepUp/De...

Aaron said:
i would like to start farming, but its not as if there is a manual or handbook or anything to help you start lol!!! I am finding unless your ancestors were farmers, a city boy like myself. its near impossible to start.

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