Family Farm Values
If you have ever visited a local farm operation to pick fruit or buy fresh bread or meat, you know how friendly and welcoming farmers can be. This is because over 98% of Canadian farms are family owned and operated and farmers want to share what they produce with their neighbours.
In Ontario, just 1.6% of the province’s entire population is made up of farmers, even though we all benefit from the fruits of their labours (literally!).
There are about 230,000 farms in Canada, a number that continues to decrease every year. However, demand for food and other agriculture products is not slowing, so farmers need to find ways to increase production and make the most of their land. The average size of a Canadian farm increased from 676 acres in 2001 to 728 acres in 2006. That's the same as 361 football fields!
Fewer young people are taking over their family operations as they did in the past, leaving more work to fewer farmers –their parents. The average Canadian farmer is 52 years old.
Among the younger farm population, more operators are earning post-secondary education than ever before. In 2001, almost 38% of male farm operators and 46% of female farm operators had a post-secondary education.