In British Columbia, less than 5 percent of farmers are aged 34 and younger, and half of the farmers under age 55 report that off-farm employment is their main source of income. Those are not good numbers if you’re concerned about the future of farming in this province.
Good thing there are the Young Agrarians. This relatively new organization is made up of agriculturalists, urban and rural farmers, gardeners, community groups and academics, all committed to transforming our food economy, promoting agriculture, sustainability and building community.
For Salt Spring Coffee, a company that traces its roots back to an organic farm on an island, it gives us great hope and pleasure to be able to support the Young Agrarians through our 1% for the Planet program.
The great thing about Young Agrarians is that this community building project takes an old idea — sharing farming expertise and knowledge — and offers it online and offline. YA is building an online network to engage young would-be farmers and the public in the reshaping of our food system, including a continually updated map centralizing information about sustainable agriculture resources to support the next generation of food producers.
Offline, the group holds and supports a series of events and get togethers to provide a social outlet and share ideas. we are developing a suite of programs. Young Agrarians is a partner of Farm Folk City Folk, another non-profit organization working to build a sustainable and local food system that Salt Spring Coffee supports through our 1% for the Planet membership. We’re very happy to have been involved in the events that these two organizations host, including potlucks and, most recently, the Feast of Fields festival.
To find out more and get involved in this great community, visit the Young Agrarians website or the 1% for the Planet website for more details. And join the conversation: @youngagrarians and #youngagrarians.