By Paul Bootsma
March 2, 2012
Our society recognizes that education is an important factor in achieving success in our increasingly complex global economy. The next generation will need more knowledge in order to improve the economy both locally and abroad. The Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario agrees with this assessment and has initiated a new program in support of education in agriculture.
There are many farmers that learned their trade through practical experience. With their parents as their guides, they started helping at a young age, spending time working with animals and in the fields cropping. Many operations have used this method successfully and even still practice it today. When it comes to knowing how to do things, practical experience is essential in learning a trade. No amount of reading about a task can replace the value of doing the task yourself.
But as with so many other types of businesses, today’s farm business involves so much more. Today’s farmer and the next generation of farmers need to understand the impact of new technology, be able to use new communication technologies effectively, manage human relations and deal with societal demands. Operating today’s farming businesses requires more than just the hands-on aspects of the trade. For example, today’s farmer needs some knowledge of how global markets influence farm production choices and the price of the commodities we produce when determining what to plant each year.
The CFFO recognizes the need for post-secondary education for tomorrow’s farmers, as well as upgrades in training for today’s farmer. The CFFO is pleased to announce that each of our local districts will be able to award a scholarship to future farmers. The scholarship is available for those students pursuing post-secondary education in agriculture who have parents or grandparents that are members of the CFFO. Each scholarship will be in the amount of $500. Finally, the federation plans to work with other organizations in educational programs and/or lectures developed specifically for agriculture dealing with today’s issues.
CFFO wishes to encourage young entrepreneurs to pursue post-secondary education in agriculture. We hope that the graduates will be able to use that education as a tool to become the successful farmers of tomorrow. We hope to swell the ranks of farmers with young, talented entrepreneurs that believe that farming has a bright future. Training our youth is a responsibility and opportunity that society needs to take seriously if we want the next generation to have a better world than the one we have today.
Paul Bootsma is the Field Services Manager for the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario. The CFFO Commentary represents the opinions of the writer and does not necessarily represent CFFO policy. The CFFO Commentary is heard weekly on CFCO Chatham, CKNX Wingham, and UCB Canada radio stations in Chatham, Belleville, Bancroft, Brockville and Kingston and in Brantford and Woodstock. It is also found on the CFFO website: www.christianfarmers.org. CFFO is supported by 4,200 family farmers across Ontario.