Mass Retirement of Farm Operators – Ontario Farmland Trust is Part of the Solution

Many may have seen the news stories on the recent report regarding the mass retirement that is forthcoming in agriculture over the next 10 years. The article highlights the impending retirement of over 40% of Canadian farm operators by 2033. This presents a significant challenge for the agriculture industry, as the knowledge and expertise of these experienced farmers will be lost, and there may not be enough new farmers to fill the gap. Therefore, it is important to attract and train new farmers to ensure the sustainability and growth of the industry.

Without farmers we do not have farmland. OFT works to protect farmland in Ontario and believes that this is a critical issue our governments need to address in order to protect our food producing landscapes and ensure a future local food system. OFT might soon find itself in a unique position to support the education and training of the next generation of farmers. One of the ways it can do this is by accepting donations of farmland, which can help remove the cost of land as a financial barrier for new farmers. By setting up multiple sites across the province, OFT can help make farmland more accessible to new farmers and keep their start-up costs low. This work can take a significant amount of time and money to accomplish, but the benefits to future generations of both people and wildlife are immense. It will also require support from partners and community members.

Partnerships will help deliver educational content to new farmers. This can include workshops, mentorship programs, and other training opportunities. Education is one of OFT’s registered objectives, which means that it is committed to supporting the development of new farmers and promoting sustainable agriculture practices.

Overall, the retirement of a large number of Canadian farmers presents a significant challenge for the agriculture industry. An investment in OFT can help ensure that the agriculture industry in Ontario remains vibrant and sustainable for years to come. If you think this is something you can see fitting within OFT, don’t hesitate to reach out!

Make your commitment to farmland protection today!