What I learned at CYFFMarch 9th, 2016
There are many opportunities in farming and agriculture today. You aren’t ‘just’ a farmer; there is the chance to be whatever you want on the farm, from a banker to a mechanic to a caregiver. The industry is full of opportunities which I learned first-hand when I attended the Canadian Young Farmers Forum (CYFF) at the end of February in Vancouver. Coming from rural Ontario, it was exciting to attend such an important conference while visiting a new city, and seeing tourist attractions like Stanley Park and the harbour.
I met interesting people from many different types of farms. Getting to hear from farmers from provinces across Canada and a few from the USA was eye-opening. Networking with people from across the country was an amazing opportunity to learn about the similarities and differences within our sector. We had the pleasure of listening to fellow Ontarian Andrew Campbell captivate the audience with his important message of advocacy. By posting a picture on social media or starting a conversation in the grocery store, you can get consumers to know more about where their food comes from. Consumers influence how we do business in the food industry and they want to hear about your personal experience. They want to be able to trust you and the agri-food sector. They want to see your passion for farming.
I will be taking the lessons and experiences I got from CYFF home to my own family farm in rural Ontario where we farm dairy, beef and cash crops.
To other young farmers, I recommend being as involved as possible and not being afraid to have an off-farm job in the industry. You are still contributing to agriculture. Also, the more experiences you have, the better! By attending conferences like CYFF and being a member of organizations such as 4-H and Junior Farmers, the possibilities for the future are endless!
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