Statistics Canada’s 2011 Census of Agriculture found the average age of farm operators was 54, up from 49.9 years a decade earlier. Farmers under 35 years of age represented just 8.2% (CBC News, Sept 16, 2013).
If that shocking statistic wasn’t enough, consider this: everyone needs to eat but only a small proportion of the population produces food. In fact, less than 2% of the population are farmers (www.youngagrarians.org).
The shortage of young farmers is becoming such a problem that organizations like Young Agrarians have created a network for new and young ecological and organic farmers. In addition, the federal government offers several programs and services for young or beginning farmers.
Need a little inspiration? Check out these businesses owned by young farmers in Lillooet:
Not ready to throw on your Carhartts and head over to John Deere just yet? You can support Lillooet’s young farmers (and all our farmers!) by buying local. Stay tuned to learn about our campaign to support food that is LILLOOET GROWN.