GFM Network News


The Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council found there were 63,000 unfilled positions in the ag sector last year.

Canada’s farm labour crisis keeps getting worse

The worker shortage has doubled in the last 15 years and will double again in the next decade

Agricultural labour shortages across Canada have doubled over the past 10 years and could double again by 2029. In its most recent labour market forecast, the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council found there were 63,000 unfilled positions in the sector last year — up from 30,000 unfilled positions in 2004. And that number is expected […] Read more

The coming wave of autonomous farm equipment — such as this seeding rig mounted on a DOT Technology “power platform” — is partly being driven by the severe and growing labour shortage on farms.

Ag tech tackles the next frontier — the people shortage on farms

The labour shortage has gone from problem to crisis — and that’s prompting a new tech revolution

Advances in farm equipment over the past 15 years have focused on one thing — allowing farmers to do more with less. Bigger equipment to cut the time when seeding and harvesting. GPS to minimize overlap. Precision tech to make every seed and input count. No till to capture snow and retain moisture (with less […] Read more


Enrolment in Lakeland College’s agriculture sciences program has almost tripled since Josie Van Lent (r) (seen here with former student Sheena McKelvie) became dean in 2007.


The jobs are waiting for ag program graduates

Enrolment has soared in the past decade — and so has the number of unfilled jobs in the agriculture sector

A career in agriculture just wasn’t an option for Julie Mitchell when she was growing up. Or at least that’s what she thought. “I was really passionate about agriculture, but I didn’t think you could have a career in ag beyond being a farmer,” said Mitchell, who grew up on a cattle operation in Manitoba. […] Read more

Green jobs eligible for wage subsidy

A new Career Focus Green Jobs program is offering wage subsidies to help employers with an environmental focus hire new graduates, a federal release says. The program targets small- and medium-sized businesses to help reduce the cost barriers of hiring new graduates by subsidizing their salary by 50 per cent to a maximum of $13,500 […] Read more


Farm and agri-food employers hail call for foreign worker reform

A new parliamentary report backs their recommendations to fix critical 
shortage of workers, but will the federal government act on them?

Farm employers and food processors are hoping a new report will spur Ottawa to revamp its temporary foreign worker program. “There are lots of things in the report that are very positive for ag and agri-food,” said Mark Chambers, senior production manager with Sunterra Farms and co-chair of the Agriculture and Agri-Food Labour Task Force. […] Read more

Mark Chambers new co-chair of labour task force

Alberta’s Mark Chambers has been elected the new co-chair of the Agriculture and Agri-Food Labour Task Force. The task force is developing an action plan to tackle industry labour shortages, an initiative of the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council with support from more than 60 partner organizations. “The agriculture industry needs more workers,” said Chambers, […] Read more