“We are encouraged by the response we received and the strength of the interest expressed.”
– Dr. Ty Faechner, Executive Director Of Areca
Beginning in January, the Agricultural Research and Extension Council of Alberta (ARECA) conducted a survey to determine public interest in returning to the land, and to assess what kinds of training, skills and background information people would need to do just that.
The results have been compiled and, according to participants, there is both an interest in and a need for a training program for new and transitioning farmers. Of those surveyed:
90 per cent said that there was a need for farm training for new entrants into the business of farming
93 per cent indicated that there was a need for training for farmers who want to transition into a different aspect of the farming business
76 per cent said that there were insufficient resources for new or transitioning farmers to begin the process
89 per cent said that if new training opportunities were available to either enter into or transition within the farming business, they would attend “We are encouraged by the response we received and the strength of the interest expressed,” says Dr. Ty Faechner, executive director of ARECA. “Clearly, there are those who are seriously considering making farming their career of choice.
If we can help make sure that those same people have the education and tools they need, it is our hope that we can keep current operations sustainable and help new farmers get off on the right foot.”
Tentatively titled FarmCraft, the program will be delivered by ARECA and its member associations throughout Alberta via the Internet, conferences and workshops, as well as mentoring and apprenticeships. “Now that we know that there is an appetite for this kind of program, we are going to craft potential delivery models, and work on partnerships between ourselves and other agencies and organizations involved in sustainable agriculture in Alberta,” says Faechner. “Once we have those pieces in place, we can apply for funding and put the program into practice.”