WEB ONLY: OFA hosting summit on young farmers

The Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) wants to help develop ini­tiatives to support Beginning Farmers in Ontario, and has established a Task Team to con­sider what’s needed to en­courage young people to enter farming.

The team, chaired by OFA director Joe Dickenson, has some specific items on the agenda: establish a definition of a beginning farmer; examine how existing or possible new government and industry programs can help or hinder beginning farmers; and examine possible new programs that would help them obtain start-up funds.

“The days of passively com­plaining [about issues stand­ing in the way of Begin­ning Farmers] must end and it is time for progress,”  Dickenson said.

The summit is set for March 21 from 10am to 3pm at the Delaware community centre, southwest of London, and is open to beginning and some experienced farmers.

For those unable to attend the summit, a Facebook site is set up with the group called: Creating Answers for Beginning Ontario Farmers.

Young farmers are welcome to join that group and get in­volved in the discussions. Results of the Facebook submissions will be discussed at the Summit at 11am.

Working groups will discuss the issues and possible solutions with presentations from group leaders at 2pm. The event will conclude at 3pm.