For those who are familiar with the Salt Spring Coffee story, it comes as no surprise that organic farming is part of our company’s roots and everyday culture. Our co-founders Mickey McLeod and Robbyn Scott started out as organic farmers with their own market garden on Salt Spring Island. So when co-founder Sara Dent approached Mickey with her vision for Young Agrarians, he was all ears.
Salt Spring Coffee provided Young Agrarians with the very first donation to kickstart programming and support people starting their journey into organic and regenerative farming. Young Agrarians began in 2012 to grow a new generation of ecological farmers through a farmer-to-farmer educational resource network.
In B.C., YA offers an on and off-farm educational events, business mentorships, and land access programming. With land access being the number one challenge for new farmers, YA offers a Business Mentorship program that pairs up new farms in start-up with experienced mentors, and are delivering the B.C. Land Matching Program adapted from Quebec’s ARTERRE.
It's important to support and nurture the next generation of farmers because Canada’s young farmer population has reached historical lows in 2011 and the average age of farmers is 56.
With climate change accelerating, it is even more important for the next generation of agrarians to learn organic and regenerative farming practices to help restore the environment.
Young Agrarians is made up of agriculturalists, farmers (both urban and rural), market and community gardeners, community groups and academics, all committed to transforming our food economy, promoting agriculture, sustainability and building community.
Young Agrarians thrives because of community participation and contributions, and there is no shortage of opportunities to get involved.
For more information visit www.youngagrarians.org.