Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario Commentary
By Brooke Wareing, CFFO Communications Intern
July 6 marked the first of four Farming Under 40 Barbeques to be held this year by the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario. The CFFO hosts annual summer barbeques across the province to celebrate young farmers and their families.
Agriculture provides an environment where young people can make an impact in their industry everyday. This can be done through land management practices and using new technologies, but is most prevalent in the leadership that is accomplished every day by young individuals in agriculture.
Whether it is carrying on a family farm business, becoming an ag-vocate or sharing ag-centered stories on social media, young people are shaping agriculture through their leadership and positively impacting the industry. These individuals set an example for future generations and keep the family farm thriving. The CFFO believes in bringing young leaders together, building bridges and fostering community engagement.
The 2016 Agricultural Census, from Statistics Canada, has revealed new data on the average age of farm operators. The census reports that the number of farmers under the age of 35 rose from 24,120 in 2011 to 24,850 in 2016. This represents the greatest increase in young farm operators since 1991.
The world of agriculture is changing rapidly. As agriculture evolves it is important to celebrate those who will be leading advancements in the future.
The entrance of more young farmers showcases agriculture’s growing future. The CFFO believes in the importance of supporting young farmers and the communities they are building. Our barbeques do just this, creating an event where farmers can come together and strengthen their community through kinship.
The Farming Under 40 Barbeques are informal gatherings, but they provide the perfect setting to discuss everything and anything with other emerging farmers. There’s also plenty to keep the kids busy, including a bouncy castle, face painting, cotton candy, and carnival games.
We could not hold these events without the help of our annual partners. Thank you to Beef Farmers of Ontario, Country Guide, Egg Farmers of Ontario, Farm Credit Canada, Grand Valley Fortifiers, Grain Farmers of Ontario, Jaylor, and Meester Insurance.
Together with our sponsors, the CFFO creates an evening for the whole family that is sure to be a great time for everyone. There are still three more barbeques this month, but tickets are needed.