I Decided That I Would Farm For One More Year…

Mike Kozlowski is an incredible young farmer near Red Deer, Alberta and he’s also a good friend of ours, an inspiration to many others in the farming community, and a passionate producer of healthy food for his local community and customers.  A few days ago, he publicly shared a deeply personal insight into the struggles he faces in carrying on with his farm business.  With Mike’s permission, we’d love to share his post with you:

 

 

This is all really personal, but I want to share because it’s important to me and it’s real, and there are just so many cat videos on here.

It’s the end of the farm season. A handful of tasks remain before I shift and start to focus more on yoga for the winter. Last year at this time I was beat and beaten. A hard season had taken its toll and my emotional and physical reserves were low. I was able to gather enough strength to get clear on one goal though; I decided that I would farm for one more year, and if I couldn’t find a way to make farming feel good, I would quit.

I love this picture that Andrea Wiseman masterfully caught of me this fall. I love the flying carrots, dirt and roughage that make the photo seem to move. I love the look of joyful abandon on my face, and the way I can see that joy expressed in my body. What a stupid thing to do, to whip carrots around like such a lunatic. Better than the look of joyful abandon though, was the feeling at the time. I made a decision to get in touch with my joy body, to let it flow through me, to let go.

It’s no secret that farming is a big commitment, a challenging lifestyle, and a labour of love. So much is out of our control, there are never enough hours, and the to-do list never seems to end for those intense six months. Years ago, a mentor of mine told me that he didn’t know how long he would be able to keep farming because of the crippling levels of stress that lead to illness, negativity, and dark thoughts.

I’m happy to say that I figured something out this year that has changed everything. It’s the end of the season, I feel energized, positive, and ready for more. It’s a bewildering position to be in, so drastic from how things have been in the past. I’ve considered that the change could just be that I’m one year older and one year wiser. I’ve considered that a few smart business decisions have saved me time and money.

The truth is, I think it’s more than that. I’ve made a decision to make this work. I decided that I can’t give traction to those feeling of extreme stress, anger, self-pity, or that feeling of “I’m working so fu&king hard and just need a break and why fu&k does everything always go wrong”. These feelings still come up, but when they do, I’m learning to connect to my body, notice the sensations, and let them pass through me. It sounds simple, anyways.

Connecting to my body sounds esoteric, but in a literal sense, it usually means sending awareness to my chest. I feel something in there; movement, something stirring, that I could probably call energy, though that term can be troubling because of it’s wide and varied use. When I become aware of that physical stirring, it’s like a manifestation in my body of the things going on in my brain. If I can find it physically, it becomes possible to explore it, observe, breathe, let it pass and carry on.

This isn’t yoga, exactly, though my yoga practice this summer has helped me immensely. It’s a combination of ancient and modern ideas, techniques, and philosophies that I have learned from countless amazing teachers, books, meditations, and practices.

So, this can’t solve 100% of our problems. It can’t change our chemistry or our past. But when coupled with an extreme commitment to self-care (I posted a video at the end of September on my timeline describing how I got married to myself this summer), I’ve found that life feels infinitely better, the future seems bright, and I feel powerful and energized. Most of the time.

God I just hope that you are all on a path toward self-development and discovery, that you can find more ways to live with positivity, and though we all know the darkness exists, that you are figuring out ways to feel better each day and let more of your light shine into the world.

Farm on bro! Much love and bliss your way.

Mike

 

 

 

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Don Ruzicka’s Family Farm Story

UntitledFarmOn was priveleged to be invited out to Sunrise Farm to speak with Don Ruzicka and see his family’s amazing 3rd generation mixed farm operation near Killam, Alberta.  From pastured pork to grass fed beef and portable chicken coops, Sunrise Farm is producing some amazing, quality food for local consumers.  They’re also deeply committed to caring for the environment, rehabilitating riparian wetland areas, and planting trees and bushes that attract beneficial species and increase biodiversity.

The Sunrise Farm website puts it like this:

These practices not only ensure our economic livelihood, but also contribute to the sustainability of our farm. If the farm is to be economically sustainable then it has to be environmentally sustainable. Clean water, healthy soil and fresh air are critically important to the health of the land. The wholesome food raised and grown on our farm, in turn, contributes to our family’s health and to the health of the consumers who support us. The greatest benefit of these practices, though, has been to help us understand the awesome responsibility we have to be stewards of Creation. By caring for the land and nurturing all that it grows and provides for us we are continually striving for our farm to be a model of enduring stewardship.

 

Don, how has holistic management changed your farm?

We started all of a sudden seeing meadowlarks and birds.  And you know, what are they there for? We started over the years to understand that nature can become, and should become, one of the most important partnerships that we have in agriculture.

 

Untitled

What does the future of Sunrise Farm look like?

Our oldest son, Matt is in the process of starting to buy the farm.  So we’re looking forward to that. And I just hope I’ve got enough sand left in the top of my hour glass to teach him some of the things that I know, so he won’t make some of the mistakes that I made.

3

 

How do you and Marie work together?

This farm is not about me, although I’m the main manager. Marie has supported me in my decisions. Our decisions.  Sometimes they’re my decisions – they become our decisions.  And sometimes they don’t work out, and they’re still ‘our’ decisions.

4


Don Ruzicka’s Family Farm Story

 

Agvocate or Educate? The Great Debate

Article by Jill from Crooked Farms

Advocate: (v) to speak or write in favour of; support or urge by argument; recommend publicly.

Educate: (v) give intellectual, moral, and social instruction to (someone, esp. a child), typically at a school or university.

If you follow any agriculture social media you might be familiar with the term “agvocate”.  If you haven’t heard of the term before, to “agvocate” is to be a advocate for agriculture.  There has been some debate lately whether we as farmers should “agvocate”.  I did an interview recently while I was at FarmTech and one of the questions was how do I feel about agvocating.  I initially said that I do it, but it’s not for everyone.  As time wore on, I began thinking, do I actually advocate for agriculture, or am I trying to educate people?

My main goal of this website is to do the latter–provide information (educate) to people about what we do. More and more I’m having a hard time with the word “Agvocate”, especially when I think of being an advocate as someone who urges by argument.  We as farmers shouldn’t be urging people into information about agriculture by arguing with them.  However, I find on social media this is what seems to take place too often, whether it is intended or not.

We need to be quiet and listen to what the person is saying.  If they are asking questions, answer them.  If myths are being stated, provide the person with data that dispels the myth.  If we don’t know the answer to their question, point them in the direction of someone who might.  We need to keep people from “Googling” answers because I feel that is how myths and misinformation gets spread.  These are just a few simple tips that we can use to help educate people about agriculture.

Not everyone is meant to be an agvocate, but we can all educate.

Link photo by Gary Simmons

Agricultural Education in Canada: The Ultimate List of Programs

UntitledHave you ever tried looking for a comprehensive list of agriculture educational programs in Canada? We have, and what found is that many of the lists on the internet are either incomplete, fragmented or have broken links. When you’re looking for an agricultural program of study and thinking about your future career in agriculture, the last thing you want to be doing is searching all over the internet just to find out what programs are out there. So, to help you out, we decided to create a resource page that all young farmers can use to help them find the right program for them and get started on their journey into agriculture.

 

Agriculture Education in Canada


British Columbia

 

  1. University of British Columbia


Practicum in Sustainable Agriculture

Location: Vancouver

Duration: Part-time 8 month program

About: The UBC Farm Practicum in Sustainable Agriculture is an eight-month experiential learning program designed for aspiring farmers, urban gardeners, environmental educators, and students with an interest in applying their learning about sustainable agriculture and food systems.

Master of Agricultural Economics

Location: Vancouver

Duration: 2 year program

About: The Food and Resource Economics (FRE) Group offers a Master of Science (M.Sc.) degree in Agricultural Economics which provides students with rigorous training in economics and quantitative methods. The program emphasizes applied resource and environmental economics and food market analysis, and can be completed in 24 months if students have the appropriate background.

Master of Soil Science

Location: Vancouver

Duration: 2 year program

About: A collaboration between the Faculty of Land and Food Systems and Faculty of Forestry, the inter-faculty Soil Science Graduate Program offers opportunities for advanced study and research leading to MSc and PhD degrees. Students are registered in the Faculty of Graduate Studies through either the Faculty of Land and Food Systems or Faculty of Forestry, depending upon their research interests.

Areas of study include biometeorology, forest nutrition and nutrient cycling, mycorrhizal ecology, soil biology, soil quality and fertility, soil-plant interactions, ecosystem services, land an water systems.

Bachelor of Science: Applied Biology Program

Location: Vancouver

Duration: 4 year program

About: This is an opportunity to study the animal, plant, or soil sciences in a way that relates directly to the major issues facing the planet, environmental protection and preservation, sustainability, and biodiversity, in a specialization that matters to you.

  1. University of Fraser Valley

Bachelor of Business Administration in Agriculture Management

Location: Chilliwack

Duration: 4 year program

About: UFV’s Bachelor of Business Administration in Agriculture Management is especially designed for professionals who have been working in this growing industry for two years or more and would like to advance their career by studying at a university that has a recognized track record of agricultural excellence in teaching and research.

 

Agriculture Technology Diploma

http://www.ufv.ca/agriculture/programs/agriculture-technology-diploma/Location: Chilliwack

Duration: 2 year program

About: Courses include:

  • Susatainable Soil Management
  • Management and Production of Beef, Sheep and Goats
  • Vegetable Crop Production

Horticulture Crop Production and Protection Certificate

Location: Chilliwack

Duration: 1 year program (with ability to transfer to 2 year diploma)

About: Our programs provide an excellent balance of theory and practice, and emphasize management practices compatible with agricultural sustainability and society’s increasing concerns about environmentally responsible agricultural production techniques. As a horticulture student, you will participate in hands-on learning in the UFV greenhouses and on the UFV Chilliwack campus grounds.

Livestock Production Certificate

Location: Chilliwack

Duration: 1 year program

About: The Agriculture department at UFV’s Chilliwack campus offers a comprehensive one-year Livestock Production certificate and two-year Agriculture Technology diploma with an option in Livestock Production. Once you’ve completed the one-year certificate, you can ladder directly into the diploma. As a livestock production student, you will participate in hands-on learning in our UFV barn.

Milker Technician Certificate

Location: Chilliwack

Duration: One semester (only offered in winter)

About: The good milker handles cows quietly and efficiently, following sanitary procedures and correct milking techniques. The milker ensures sanitation of all milking equipment and cleanliness in the milking parlours. A milker’s duties also often include feeding, care of young stock, barn cleaning and maintenance, record keeping, and machine operation. Work is often divided into a morning and evening shift; sometimes a milker lives on the employer’s farm. The full-time Milker Technician program prepares students for this type of employment. Upon successful completion of the program, students receive a Milker Technician certificate.

Current Agricultural Practices Essentials Certificate

Location: Chilliwack

Duration: 6 courses

About: This 18-credit, 6-course, post-credential certificate will help meet the professional development needs of agriculturists who have either been away from agriculture for a while or who are recent Canadians with prior agriculture experience. This program will update the student’s knowledge of Canadian agriculture and offer a valuable experience (Practicum I) in a modern agriculture business.

Berry Production Essentials Certificate

Location: Chilliwack

Duration: 6 courses

About: This certificate is comprised of 18 credits (6 three-credit courses) and is designed for those entering the berry industry, who wish to gain sufficient knowledge and certification to position themselves for advances within the farm structure and as professional development for others whose employment requires up-to-date knowledge of berry production. The certificate can easily ladder into a Horticulture certificate program or Agriculture diploma at UFV, for students wishing to further their expertise and professional advancement in the horticulture industry.

Integrated Pest Management Essentials Certificate

Location: Chilliwack

Duration: 5 course program

About: Integrated pest management plays a key role in today’s agriculture. This certificate is comprised of 15 credits (5 three-credit courses) and is designed to help producers and agri-service personnel to identify and assess pests in the field and prepare students for entry-level pest scout positions.

Field Vegetable Production Essentials Certificate

Location: Chilliwack

Duration: 6 course program

About: This certificate is comprised of 18 credits (6 three-credit courses) and is designed for those entering the field vegetable industry, who wish to gain sufficient knowledge and certification to position themselves for advances within the farm structure and as professional development for others whose employment requires up-to-date knowledge of field vegetable production. The certificate can easily ladder into a Horticulture certificate program or Agriculture diploma at UFV, for students wishing to further their expertise and professional advancement in the horticulture industry.

Short Courses in Agriculture

  • Garden Design Fundamentals
  • Cultural Garden Tour
  • MarketSAFE
  • Aquaponic Food Production
  • Pruning Workshop
  • Pesticide Applicators Certificate

 

  1. Organic Farming Institute of British Columbia


Organic Farming Courses

Location: Lower Similkameen Valley

Duration: varies with course

About: The OFIBC offers first-rate training in organic farming. Unique in Canada, OFIBC training is designed to meet the needs of farmers. Courses are built around in-depth training on working organic farms. The Similkameen Valley is the perfect place for an organic farming training centre. It has the highest concentration of organic farms in Canada.

 

  1. Kwantlen Polytechnic University


Bachelor of Applied Science in Sustainable Agriculture

http://www.kpu.ca/science/agriculture/futureLocation: Surrey

Duration: 4 year program

About: The Bachelor of Applied Science in Sustainable Agriculture degree is unique to North America and is distinguished from other agriculture degree programs by providing a broad scope of study related to sustainable food production as an integral and fundamentally critical element of sustainable human existence. Through a distinctive and exceptional combination of classroom and farm-based learning, the program offers a comprehensive perspective on:

  • The science of agro-ecosystem design and stewardship;
  • Innovative and ecologically sound crop production methods;
  • Sustainable farm business management; and,
  • The economic, social, and environmental challenges facing our food system

 

  1. Vancouver Island University


Organic Farming Institute of BC

Location: Powell River (Online Courses)

Duration: varies by course

About: This program offers both online theory courses and field training.

Courses include:

  • Introduction to Organic Soil Management and Nutrient Cycles – provides an overview of organic soil management principles.
  • Field Crop Production – all you need to know about organic field crop production
  • Transitioning to Organic Methods

 

  1. College of the Rockies


Horticulture Technician Foundation Program

Location: Creston

Duration: 1 semester

About: Extensive practical training in a functioning greenhouse and outdoor environment.  Emphasis is placed on the development of solid practical knowledge for preparation for the Horticulture industry.

Pesticide Applicator

Location: Creston

Duration: 3 day course

About: Preparation to write the Agriculture General Certification exam.

 

  1. Camosun College

Horticultural Technician Certificate

Location: Victoria

Duration: 10 month program

About: You’ll be exposed to on the job conditions so be prepared to work outdoors with work appropriate clothing and boots. You should be in good physical health and have good hand-eye coordination and manual dexterity. You should enjoy working outside in the garden setting while utilizing a wide variety of skills and small equipment.

  1. Malaspina University College

Horticultural Technician Certificate

Location: Nanaimo

Duration: 12 month program

http://www2.viu.ca/horticulture/About: Our location and facilities provide our students with a broad range of horticulture experiences including plant identification and propagation, greenhouse and nursery crop production, pest management, landscape design, construction and maintenance. During the summer period, students spend months working in industry.

 

  1. Kootenay Permaculture Institute

Permaculture Design Certificate

Duration: 13 day course

About: This intensive 13 day course combines theory with practical hands-on learning & design exercises. The participants who complete the course will receive the Permaculture Design Course Certificate.

 

 

Alberta

 

  1. University of Alberta

 

Sustainable Agriculture Systems

http://apps.admissions.ualberta.ca/programs/ah/ah010/sagsy1Location: Edmonton

Duration: 4 year program

About: The program provides students with an understanding of the scientific principles underlying the many facets of agriculture together with their application in agricultural systems and related industries. Through a broadly based educational experience, students develop capacities for critical and independent thought and clear expression of ideas. Throughout the program, emphasis is placed on integrating several areas in the physical, biological, and social sciences relevant to modern agricultural practices.

 

Agricultural and Resource Economics

http://www.ales.ualberta.ca/prospectivestudents/ExplorePrograms/Agriculture/AgriculturalResourceEconomicsMajor.aspxLocation: Edmonton

Duration: 4 year program

About: This major provides you with an understanding of the basic principles of economics and develops a scientific background to help you apply economic tools to production, processing, marketing, and financing and consumption in the agri-food and other resource industries.

You will gain expertise in the use of economic theory in agricultural and other natural resource industries, and will develop analytical techniques that help you to understand and assess a wide variety of policy and market issues. The program develops knowledge of applied social, agricultural, and natural sciences, so that you can succeed in a variety of agricultural and natural resource settings.

 

Agricultural Business Management

Location: Edmonton

Duration: 4 year program

About: This major prepares you to be a business professional working in the agri-food industry. Through your courses of study you develop an appreciation of the importance of both scientific and economic relationships involved in agriculture. You also fully understand and appreciate the business management skills needed to manage organizations effectively and efficiently within this sector.

By choosing Agricultural Business Management you are challenged with courses in agricultural business management, as well as courses in agricultural science, including animal, plant and soil sciences. As a graduate of this major you are well prepared for a management career in the agri-food industry. With careful course selection you may also qualify to apply to be an Articling Agrologist which can lead to status as a Professional Agrologist.

Agricultural Food and Nutritional Science

Location: Edmonton

Duration: 4 year program

About: The Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science (AFNS) at the University of Alberta is a unique department, the first of its kind in North America, reflecting the integration of many disciplines across Agriculture, Food and Nutrition. AFNS is committed to achieving excellence in the discovery and dissemination of knowledge with the goal of improving the health and quality of life. Disciplines range from primary production and biotechnology in plant and animal sciences, to innovative food and agri-food products, and human nutrition and wellness. The Department boasts 64 professors, 38 adjunct professors, over 230 graduate students, and more than 300 research and support staff, and includes the divisions of Animal Science, Plant Biotechnology, Food Science and Bioresource Technology, and Human Nutrition.

Master of Agriculture

Location: Edmonton

Duration: 2 years

About: A two year course-based program designed for agricultural professionals in government, industry, or private practice.

Crop Science

Location: Edmonton

Duration: 4 year program

About: This major focuses on the agronomy and science of agricultural crop production. It provides you with an in-depth understanding of plant growth, soils and factors affecting crop production. Crop responses to a range of environmental factors are addressed. You will also learn about biotechnological, breeding and production management techniques used to develop, grow and market well-adapted, high quality and high yielding crop cultivars. Skills to help you respond to economic situations, market demands, environmental constraints and societal expectations will also be developed.

  1. University of Lethbridge

Agricultural Studies

Location: Lethbridge

Duration: varies with program of study

About: Students interested in Agricultural Studies have four degree options from which to choose: two four-year majors (Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science) and two Post-Diploma majors (Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science). In addition to the courses required to satisfy the requirements of each of the majors, students must statisfy the Univerity’s General Liberal Education Requirement (GLER).

  1. Lethbridge College

Agriculture Science Diploma – Plant and Soil Major

Location: Lethbridge

Duration: 2 year program

About: You can be part of a growing industry full of opportunities with the Agriculture Sciences program. Our two-year diploma will send you on your way to a rewarding career, giving you expertise in a variety of areas, including agricultural research and animal health.

 

Agriculture Science Diploma – Animal Major

Location: Lethbridge

Duration: 2 year program

About:  Our two-year diploma will send you on your way to a rewarding career, giving you expertise in a variety of areas, including agricultural research and animal health. In your second year, you can choose the area that interests you most by majoring in either Plant and Soil Science or Animal Science.  We’ll help you plant the career you’ve always dreamed of.

Agricultural and Heavy Equipment Technician Certificate

Location: Lethbridge

Duration: 1 year program

About:  Our one-year certificate gives you the versatility to work in agricultural and/or heavy-duty diesel equipment repair. In small classes, you’ll learn about suspensions, power trains, steering, brakes, diesel engines, fuel systems, electrical systems and mobile hydraulics. Our state-of-the-art shop will equip you with all the latest tools and technologies, helping you lay out a solid foundation in this fast-paced industry.

Agriculture Equipment Technician Apprenticeship

Location: Lethbridge

Duration: 8 to 12 weeks of classroom training each year, in addition to on-the-job training.

About:  Our one-year certificate gives you the versatility to work in agricultural and/or heavy-duty diesel equipment repair. In small classes, you’ll learn about suspensions, power trains, steering, brakes, diesel engines, fuel systems, electrical systems and mobile hydraulics. Our state-of-the-art shop will equip you with all the latest tools and technologies, helping you lay out a solid foundation in this fast-paced industry.

  1. Red Deer College

Bachelor of Science in Agriculture

Location: Red Deer

Duration: 1 year – transfer to university for the rest of the program.

About: The RDC program is a modified first year of study that provides credit for the first year of Bachelor of Science Agriculture. It is strongly recommended that students complete all junior requirements before taking senior courses.

Agricultural Food Business Management

Location: Red Deer

Duration: 1 year – transfer to university for the rest of the program.

About: Students in BSc Agricultural/Food Business Management will choose one specialization: Agricultural Business Management, Food Processing Business Management, or Food Service Business Management. This must be chosen before entering third year, but may be chosen as early as the beginning of the first year.

  1. Olds College

Agriculture Management

Location: Olds

Duration: 2 year diploma

About: If you are looking for a career that will help you to feed, clothe, house or even fuel the world you’ve found the right place. This program will give you a comprehensive education that will allow you to work in production agriculture, agribusinesses, or businesses that process, market and distribute products from agriculture. You will gain skills in crops and livestock, finance, agri-business management, marketing and the latest technology so you can be successful in driving any area of agriculture forward.

 

Bachelor of Applied Science: Agribusiness

Location: Olds

Duration: 4 year program

About: The Bachelor of Applied Science degree, majoring in Agribusiness, is the only program of its kind in North America. You can earn while you learn to apply business skills to analyze, debate, and solve current agricultural industry challenges. Olds College is ideally located in the heart of agriculture in central Alberta, and has cultivated an impressive array of agriculture industry relationships.

 

Agricultural and Heavy Equipment Program

Location: Olds

Duration: 1 year for Certificate, 2 years for Diploma

About: If you want to get your hands on the newest and largest industry equipment in service come to Olds College. This comprehensive program will give you a thorough understanding of engines, hydraulics, braking, electrical, starting, charging, fuel systems and more. You will spend the first year covering all fundamentals before specializing in your second year with either agricultural or heavy equipment.

 

Agronomy Certificate

Location: Olds

Duration: 1 year program

About: This entry-level program answers the industry’s call for trained crop scouts possessing basic agronomic skills. You may have had previous post-secondary training but lack specific knowledge in agriculture, or you may have agricultural experience in another country but require specific training in Western Canadian farming practices.

 

Rural Finance and Entrepreneurship Certificate

Location: Olds

Duration: 1 year program

About: Rural Finance and Entrepreneurship Certificate has 4 required courses + 1 elective.  Each course is 15 weeks in duration, and is entirely online.  Courses are directly transferable into the Agricultural Management Diploma for gaining higher credentials and furthering your career in the agriculture industry.

 

  1. Grand Prairie Regional College

Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture

Location: Grand Prairie

Duration: 4 year program

About: With a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture you will be prepared for a range of careers which include:  agricultural production; agricultural projects and initiatives involving environmental challenges; management with government and financial institutions; educational roles / technology transfer (district agriculturists, home economists, agricultural representatives); work with international businesses / government agencies; research and
development; and sales.

 

  1. Lakeland College

Agricultural Sciences

Location: Vermilion

Duration: 2 year diploma

About: Join the rich history of agricultural excellence at Lakeland College. Our roots go back to a demonstration farm in 1911 and our founding as Alberta’s first agricultural college in 1913.

Crops, livestock, small animals and business. You’ll live the learning in diverse settings from the field to the corral, small animal clinic to bull test station, dairy barn to riding arena. Just as there’s seldom a typical day on a farm, vet clinic or agribusiness, you’ll be challenged by the range of learning opportunities at Lakeland College.

There is classroom time, but there’s also time on the combine, in the calving barn, on a horse, in the small animal clinic operating room…list goes on. Decide on next year’s crop for the student managed farm. Go to industry meetings and conferences.

Agricultural Management

Location: Online

Duration: varies with course

About: Designed for both extension professionals and producers, a series of 4 online agricultural management courses can grow your knowledge and skills in integrated crop management, winter feeding and grazing management, nutrient management and extension program planning.

 

Saskatchewan

 

  1. University of Saskatchewan

Agribusiness

Location: Saskatoon

Duration: varies by program

About: Agribusiness is of local and global importance, encompassing a wide range of activities that contribute to our supply of food and natural fibres. Agribusiness comes into play at every stage in the food chain, from primary production, to the packaging of your favorite snack food. It is also a dynamic business that must respond to sweeping advances in technology, to major changes in trade and policy, and to an ever-changing, consumer-driven marketplace.

Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Minor

Location: Saskatoon

Duration: 18 credits

About: Students may take a minor. A minor consists of 18 credit units in a field of study outside the student’s major. At least 12 credit units in the minor must be courses that are not specifically listed as required in a student’s B.S.A. major or B.Sc.(Agbus.) degree program. The Agribusiness Entrepreneurship minor is available to students enrolled in both the Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and the Bachelor of Science in Agribusiness degree programs.

Agricultural Biology

Location: Saskatoon

Duration: 4 year program

About: The Agricultural Biology program provides a comprehensive background in the life sciences and allows students to focus on particular areas relevant to agriculture, such as biotechnology, genetics and evolution, plant pathology, plant molecular biology and wildlife ecology, through selection of appropriate restricted and open electives.

Agricultural Economics

Location: Saskatoon

Duration: 4 year program

About: The objective of Agricultural Economics is to provide an understanding of current agricultural business, applied economic, social and environmental issues facing Saskatchewan and the world, and to look for practical solutions. Students can focus on a number of themes: resource and environmental management, food institutions and policy, the rural economy and agricultural business management, finance and marketing or they can customize their own program in applied economics and business through selection of appropriate restricted and open electives.

Agronomy

Location: Saskatoon

Duration: 2 year diploma, 4 year bachelor degree

About: Agronomy is one of the most diverse specializations in the B.S.A. degree program. Students incorporate courses from several disciplines and learn to approach agronomic issues from several different perspectives. Graduates acquire an understanding of the biological, ecological and economic principles of crop production and soil management, as well as an appreciation of the short and long term effects of agricultural production on the environment.

Crop Science

Location: Saskatoon

Duration: 4 year program

About: Feeding the ever increasing population of the world is a major challenge. Improved crops through plant breeding and better crop management are the keys to meeting this challenge. Students in the Crop Science major explore the theory and practice of plant breeding, genetics, crop physiology, crop quality and pest management leading to environmentally and economically sustainable production systems for the world’s major field crops. The major provides students with the basic science of crop improvement required to pursue a diverse range of careers throughout the world.

Field Crop Production Minor

Location: Saskatoon

Duration: 4 year program

About: Feeding the ever increasing population of the world is a major challenge. Improved crops through plant breeding and better crop management are the keys to meeting this challenge. Students in the Crop Science major explore the theory and practice of plant breeding, genetics, crop physiology, crop quality and pest management leading to environmentally and economically sustainable production systems for the world’s major field crops. The major provides students with the basic science of crop improvement required to pursue a diverse range of careers throughout the world.

Horticulture Science

Location: Saskatoon

Duration: 18 credits, in addition to a degree program

About: The Field Crop Production minor is an approved minor field of study in the B.S.A. degree and the B.Sc.(Agbus.) Honours and B.Sc.(Agbus.) degrees. A minor consists of 18 credit units in a field of study outside the student’s major. At least 12 credit units in the minor must be courses that are not specifically listed as required in a student’s major.

Prairie Horticulture Certificate

Location: Saskatoon

Duration: varies by course

About:

  • Designed for both professionals working in the horticulture industry and gardening enthusiasts.
  • It is the first home study program horticulture program designed specifically for the Prairie Provinces.

Rangeland Resources

Location: Saskatoon

Duration: 18 credit minor

About: The Rangeland Resources minor is an approved minor field of study in the Bachelor of Science in Agriculture (B.S.A.) degree and the Bachelor of Science in Renewable Resource Management [B.Sc.(R.R.M.)] degree. A minor consists of 18 credit units in a field of study outside the student’s major. At least 12 credit units in the minor must be courses that are not specifically listed as required in a student’s major.

Soil Science

Location: Saskatoon

Duration: 4 year program

About: 

The Soil Science program provides students with an in-depth understanding of the physical, biological and chemical processes that occur in the soil, its role in plant production, and the importance of environmental management for its conservation.

Graduates of related diploma programs may be eligible to receive up to two years block transfer credit into the Soil Science field of study.  Students transferring under an articulation agreement, or who have been granted block transfer credit are required to take a prescribed set of courses.  For additional information, or to determine eligibility for block transfer, contact the Coordinator of Student Services in the Dean’s Office, College of Agriculture and Bioresources.

 

  1. University of Regina

Pre-Agriculture and Bioresources

Location: Regina

Duration: 1 year

About: The Bachelor of Science in Agriculture at the University of Saskatchewan is a four-year program, of which the first year may be completed at the University of Regina. Students will apply to the University of Saskatchewan for admission to the College of Agriculture per University of Saskatchewan regulations and the applicable deadline dates during their first year. The courses completed at the University of Regina as part of this program can be used toward a variety of degree programs at the University of Regina.

  1. Saskatchewan Polytechnic

Agricultural Machinery Technician Certificate

Location: Saskatoon

Duration: 1 year program

About:

Agricultural Machinery Technicians diagnose, repair, modify, overhaul, service and maintain some of today’s most technologically advanced machines—tractors, combines, cultivators, seeders, sprayers. If you like working with ag equipment and troubleshooting mechanical problems, it’s a great career choice.

You’ll find your skills are in demand at leading equipment dealerships. You might work as a technician in a fully-equipped service centre or travel to farms and rural areas on service calls. You can also transfer your skills to other industries, such as mining and construction.

Pesticide Applicator Certification Program

Location: Regina

Duration: 15 credit hours within 5 years

About: The Pesticide Applicator Certification Program is a collaborative effort between the Saskatchewan Polytechnic and the Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture.

  1. Parkland College

Agriculture Operator

Location: Yorkton

Duration: varies by course

About: Parkland College and Lakeland College in consultation with the Ministry of Agriculture have designed a pilot program to prepare students with little or no agricultural experience to work on grain farms in Saskatchewan. Students must have a current Saskatchewan class 5 driver’s license and should have a basic knowledge of computer use.

 

Agriculture and Bioresources

Location: Yorkton

Duration: 1 year

About:

The University of Saskatchewan offers a direct-entry four-year program in Agriculture & Bioresources, leading to three different degrees including a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture, a Bachelor of Science in Agribusiness, or the Bachelor of Science in Renewable Resource Management.

Applicants wishing to enter the College of Agriculture & Bioresources can take their first year of Agriculture at Parkland College.

 

 

 

Manitoba

 

  1. University of Manitoba

Agribusiness – Master of Science
Agribusiness – Bachelor of Science
Agriculture Diploma

Location: Winnipeg

Duration: varies by program

About: A highlight of the Faculty Agribusiness Program is the ongoing development of international exchange programs, which provide opportunities for students to take a semester of study at a university outside Canada, and transfer credit for approved courses to their programs at the University of Manitoba. During such exchanges students remain registered, and pay current tuition, at the University of Manitoba.

 

  1. Red River College

Heavy Duty Equipment Mechanic

Location: Winnipeg

Duration: 1 year program

About: This is an entry-level program that develops the basic knowledge and skills you need to perform routine maintenance and repairs to vehicle systems and components. The program is designed to prepare you to adjust, service, and repair a variety of heavy mobile equipment, usually diesel powered, used in construction, agriculture, or highway transportation. The work will involve basic servicing to engines and related equipment, and performing repairs. This will include transmission servicing, hydraulic/air brakes, and basic electrical in heavy duty application.

  1. Assiniboine College

Agricultural Equipment Technician Apprenticeship

Location: Brandon

Duration: 1 year program

About: An agricultural equipment technician is certified to service, repair, assemble and maintain any agricultural equipment and attachments used for farming operations.

Pesticide Certification

Location: Online

Duration: 10 week program

About: This program provides training for people requiring Manitoba Pesticide Applicator and/or Dispenser Certification. Also included is the Aerial Recertification course for individuals wishing to acquire credit towards recertification.

Prairie Horticulture

Location: Brandon

Duration: 10 week program

About: The Prairie Horticulture Certificate program offers, via distance delivery, courses designed with Prairie Canada conditions in mind.

Sustainable Food Systems

Location: Brandon

Duration: 1 year program

About: The advanced diploma in Sustainable Food Systems emphasizes innovation in food production and post-harvest management in the context of enhancing food security.

Ontario

 

  1. University of Guelph

Agricultural Business

Location: Guelph

Duration: 4 year programs

About: The Department of Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics (FARE) is pleased to offer undergraduate majors in three areas: Food and Agricultural Business; Food, Agricultural and Resource Economics; and Environmental Economics and Policy.

 


Bachelor of Science in Agriculture with Major in Organic Agriculture

Location: Guelph

Duration: 4 year program

About: The Organic Agriculture major offers students an integrated approach to learning in the rapidly expanding world of organic agriculture. Courses encompass food production, food security, organic processing and marketing, environmental health and rural community sustainability. How various factors influence one another is considered in the design and operation of crop and livestock production systems that are socially responsible, ecologically sound, agronomically feasible and economically sustainable.


Associate Diploma in Agriculture program

Location: Guelph

Duration: 2 year program

About: This program provides a practical, skills-oriented approach to agricultural production systems and affords its students an opportunity to improve their business and managerial skills. Diploma in Agriculture students integrate practical experience in agricultural production with the technical and scientific information that is required to successfully operate modern food production enterprises. Business management, computer skills, and problem solving activities provide students with the abilities they require as self-employed managers of production systems, and as technical/sales employees of agri-business firms, commodity boards, and other agencies related to the agri-food system.

 

  1. Mohawk College

Horticulture Technician Apprenticeship

Location: Hamilton

Duration: 1 year program

About:

  • Acquire training in safe workplace practices including dealing with on-site conditions, emergencies and hazards, according to federal and provincial pertinent safety legislation and municipal legal requirements
  • Learn basic scheduled, preventative and on-going maintenance procedures for powered horticultural equipment, according to respective federal, provincial and municipal legal requirements
  • Learn water quality, plant water requirements and local conservation standards, water stewardship principles, basic irrigation systems and procedures according to federal, provincial and municipal legal requirements
  • Acquire specialized training in turf grass establishment and cultivation practices including monitoring turf grass quality, plant health care, and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) techniques used in landscape construction (Softscape Installation), and grounds/golf course maintenance operations, according to respective federal, provincial, and municipal legal requirements

 

 

  1. Algonquiin College

 

Horticultural Industries

Location: Ottawa

Duration: 2 year program

About: The Horticultural Industries program at Algonquin College is designed for individuals who are interested in landscape design from conception to implementation. Students learn key aspects of the evolving horticultural industries including sustainable urban agriculture, green roof and living wall technology, nursery production and management and urban and rural landscape design, installation and maintenance.

  1. Fleming College

Pest Management Techniques

Location: Lindsay

Duration: 15 week first semester, 16 week co-op semester, and a 10 week final semester

About:

The Structural Pest Management Association of Ontario fully supports this program and is assisting with planning and certification modules that are included within the curriculum.

  • Industry partners have offered to hire students for co-operative education terms, and to provide venues for field trips in a variety of industries, as well as some equipment.
  • The required content to fulfill provincial licensing requirements will be taught so that students will be eligible to write their first examination to enable them to participate in their co-op.
  • At the end of the program, students will be prepared to write the licensed exterminator examination to be fully qualified for employment in this field.

Sustainable Agriculture Co-Op

Location: Peterborough

Duration: 21 week on farm co-op

About: The Sustainable Agriculture program is designed for new and beginner farmers seeking an intensive, applied learning experience in sustainable, ecological or natural farming methods.

  1. Trent University

Bachelor of Arts or Science in Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems

Location: Peterborough

Duration: 4 years

About: Our Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Program examines each of the links between farm and table, and their implications for people, the economy, and the planet. You will learn about the challenges and benefits of producing and distributing healthy, affordable food in sustainable ways, while preparing for a career in which you can really effect change.

  1. Seneca College

Sustainable Local Food Certificate

Location: Online

Duration: 6 courses

About: This on-line certificate explores the practices, principles and philosophies involved in local food system development. The focus is on increasing both academic and hands-on knowledge of regional food initiatives across Canada, alongside international best practices. There is a specific concentration on applied learning, online networking, and community research. This certificate is the first of its kind in Canada, providing a cutting edge advantage when competing for work in the sustainable local food sector.

  1. Durham College

Horticulture – Food and Farming

Location: Whitby

Duration: 4 semesters

About: The Food and Farming program will offer you a hands-on opportunity to become familiar with the concepts of food production.

  • You will focus on:
    • Plant propagation
    • Soil and plant nutrition
    • Fruit and vegetable production under field, greenhouse, garden and container conditions
    • Product development
    • Food processing including niche processing of local foods
    • Food and agriculture regulations
    • Disease and pest management
    • Business practices including product branding, entrepreneurship and marketing.

 

  1. Conestoga College

Sustainable Local Food 

Location: Kitchener

Duration: Part-time (must be completed within 4 years)

About: This online program, participants explore the practices, principles and philosophies involved in local food system development. The focus is on increasing both academic and hands-on knowledge of regional food initiatives across Canada, alongside international historical practices and current standards. There is a specific concentration on applied learning, online networking, and community research.

  1. St. Lawrence College


Sustainable Local Food

Location: Online

Duration: 6 course program (Part-time)

About: This certificate explores the practices, principles and philosophies involved in local food system development. The focus is on increasing both academic and hands-on knowledge of regional food initiatives across Canada, alongside international best practices. There is a specific concentration on applied learning, online networking, and community research. This certificate is the first of its kind in Canada, providing a cutting edge advantage when competing for work in the sustainable local food sector.

 

 

Quebec

 

  1. McGill University

Agricultural Production Minor

Location: Montreal

Duration: 24 credits

About: This minor program is designed to allow students in non-agricultural production Majors to receive credit for courses in agricultural production and to stimulate “crossover” studies. The Minor can be associated with existing Major programs in the Faculty, but in some instances it may require more than 90 credits to meet the requirements of both the Major and the Minor.

Agricultural Sciences

Location: Montreal

Duration: 4 year programs

About: Various majors, including: Agricultural Economics, Life Sciences, Agro-Environmental Sciences and more.

Farm Management and Technology

Location: Montreal

Duration: 3 year program

About: The Farm Management and Technology (FMT) Program is a 3-year academic and practical college program offered on the Macdonald Campus, and taught by the staff of the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences of McGill University. The FMT program is funded by the Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation du Québec and authorized by the Ministère de l’Enseignement supérieur, Recherche et Science.

International Agriculture Specialization

Location: Montreal

Duration: 24 credits

About: Students enter this specialization to acquire a global and applied understanding of agriculture as a fundamental tool to help rural development, alleviate poverty and reach food security, especially in the developing world. This program provides students with a combination of coursework at McGill together with a hands-on experience in a developing country, meeting locals and attending courses with McGill professors and/or local instructors. The costs of these field experiences may vary. The field experience (semester, short course or internship) includes developing projects in local communities, observing subsistence agriculture in situ and participating in various activities which contribute to sensitize the students to the challenges that developing countries face. Students study water resources, sustainable development, nutrition, planning and development, and a host of other fascinating topics, allowing them to sharpen their skills for future career opportunities.

Ecological Agriculture Specialization

http://www.mcgill.ca/macdonald/prospective/degrees/bscagenvsc/specializations/ecolagrLocation: Montreal

Duration: Must be taken with a degree program

About: The Ecological Agriculture specialization provides a holistic understanding of how agroecosystems work and the science of sustainable agriculture. It emphasizes the interrelationships among soils, plants, insects, animals, humans and other components of agroecosystems. As well the specialization applies ecological concepts and principles to the design and management of sustainable agroecosystems.

  • Specialization can be taken with one of the following majors:
    • Agro-Environmental Sciences;
    • International Agriculture and Food Systems

 

  1. Universite Laval

Agriculture and Food Sciences

Location: Quebec City

Duration: varies by program

About: The Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences offers seven bachelor’s programs, six of which are the only French-language programs of their kind in North America. These include bachelor’s degrees in agronomy, agri-food economics and management, agroenvironmental engineering, food engineering, consumer sciences, and food technology, as well as nutrition.

 

 

Nova Scotia


  1. Nova Scotia Agricultural College


Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Business

Location: Halifax

Duration: 4 year program

About: Business practices touch so many areas of our world today and this unique program offers graduates a very important edge in our marketplace. This is where science and management practices converge to solve problems and capture economics opportunities in our natural world. This unique program means you don’t have to choose between science business – you can do both.

In four years you get a well-rounded education in both science and business practice. You get the hands-on scientific education that sets NSAC apart from other science universities. You also develop the skills to prepare you for a business career where problem-solving and decision-making are critical.

Graduates of this program meet the formal requirements for Professional Agrologists in the provincial Institutes of Agrologists of the Atlantic Provinces.

Agricultural Economics

Location: Halifax

Duration: 4 year program

About: 

Dalhousie’s Faculty of Agriculture at the Agricultural Campus in Truro, NS, offers award-winning faculty and leading researchers who guide students through a program that blends science and business, and small class sizes that offer individual attention and lively debate with classmates.

In this intimate learning environment, you’ll learn to see issues from a global perspectiveand develop the leadership skills to succeed in fields including—but not limited to— the agri-food sector.

Bachelor of Agriculture International Food Business

Location: Halifax

Duration: 4 year program

About: This four-year “dual degree” program emphasizes its international focus by beginning with a one-week orientation in Iceland, where European and North American students get to know one another while exploring the Icelandic food industry. This unique program will appeal to students who enjoy studying independently, have an interest in business and are keen to explore the world.

Business Management Diploma in Dairy Farming

Location: Halifax

Duration: 2 year diploma

About: The Diploma in Business Management program offered at the Dalhousie Faculty of Agriculture in Truro brings you closer to a future in an animal or plant-related industry. Working in and out of the classroom, you’ll acquire business skills like accounting, writing and decision-making, while exploring topics relevant to one of the following four specialties:

  • Dairy Farming
  • Equine
  • Agriculture
  • Greenhouse and Nursery

Business Management in Agriculture Diploma

Location: Halifax

Duration: 2 year diploma

About: From the science of animals to the business of agriculture, the Agriculture specialty covers the information you need for a future in farm management, agricultural operations and agriculture-related sales and service. You’ll develop the business skills and scientific knowledge required to manage a farm or find other rewarding careers in agricultural business.

 

Business Management Diploma in Greenhouse and Nursery

Location: Halifax

Duration: 2 year diploma

About: Move closer to a future in a plant-related field by choosing the Greenhouse and Nurseryspecialty. You’ll find out how to grow and manage plants, as well as prepare to contributeto the management of a plant-based business.

Along with classroom work, your education includes a practical internship that gives you first-hand experience in your field.

 

 

Certificate of Specialization in Organic Agriculture

Location: Online

Duration: Must be taken with a degree program

About: Get a head start on an agricultural degree with the Certificate of Specialization in Organic Agriculture. You’ll have the opportunity to specialize in the expanding area of organic agriculture.

There are also opportunities for self-employment on smaller farms that might not be profitable under conventional production.

Courses include:

  • Transition to Organic Agriculture – addresses the steps involved in becoming part of the organic industry in Canada
  • Composting and Compost Use – teach composting by providing students with the opportunity to make their own compost
  • Organic Crop Production on the Prairies – contains six modules that address optimum organic crop production for prairie farmers
  • And many more!

 

Yukon

 

  1. Yukon College

Yukon Master Gardener

Location: Whitehorse

Duration: varies by course

About: Yukon Master Gardener is a standardized course used throughout North America that focuses on building gardening expertise. The Yukon course provides northern examples with a focus on management that is effective for cold climates. A series of instructors deliver the course, giving you a broad background in plant botany, physiology, taxonomy, soils, compost, outdoor gardening, greenhouse management, lawn care, houseplants, pests and pest control, medicinal plants, woody perennials and ornamental horticulture.

Link photo courtesy of Enokson

Agricultural Game Changers in the 21st Century

What does is take to be a game changer in the 21st century? We set out on a mission to find out.  All of these people possess the same qualities.  While you may or may not agree with them, you can’t deny that they all push every single day to change the status quo.  They have changed both the conversation around food and the way with which we do it.  They are the leaders, the people who are pushing our industry forward, who chose to do it in the beginning not because of some greater gain but because they saw a future where things could be different. These are the people who believed they could make a difference and therefore are the ones who do.

 

Nurse Loves Farmer

“Agriculture is a passion that I never knew I had and I want to share this passion with as many people as I can.”– Sarah SchultzNurse Loves Farmer

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Nurse. Farm Wife. Boy mom. Believer.  That’s how Sarah Schultz of the blog “Nurse Loves Farmer” describes herself.  A nurse who fell in love with and married a fourth generation farmer, Sarah and her husband are raising their boys, Braden and Ethan, on the beautiful Alberta prairies where they also raise 6,300 acres of wheat, canola and yellow peas on the family farm. Sarah is passionate about photography, cooking & baking and then writing about it all on her blog. She also loves to share her passion for agriculture by sharing what she learns with her blog readers and the social media world. We think she should add “Agvocate” to that list of descriptors!

 

Temple Grandin

“To make a positive difference in the world requires making practical real improvements for both people and animals. Abstract ideology is not enough. You need to get out in the field and do it.” – Temple Grandin

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Dr. Temple Grandin is a professor of animal science at Colorado State University and she has been a pioneer in improving the handling and welfare of farm animals. Temple’s story and achievements are even more remarkable because she was an autistic child, who at the age of two had no speech and all the signs of severe autism. Fortunately, her mother defied the advice of the doctors and kept her out of an institution. Many hours of speech therapy, and intensive teaching enabled Temple to learn speech. As a teenager, life was hard with constant teasing. But mentoring by her high school science teacher and her aunt on her ranch in Arizona motivated Temple to study and pursue a career as a scientist and livestock equipment designer.  Through groundbreaking research and the lens of her own autism, Temple brings startling insight into two worlds. An expert on animal behavior, she has designed humane handling systems for half the cattle-processing facilities in the US and Canada, and consults with the meat industry to develop animal welfare guidelines.  Temple has won numerous achievement awards, was listed as one of Time Magazine’s most Important People of the Year in 2010 and was the subject of an HBO movie about her early life and career with the livestock industry. Through her work with animals and the autistic, Temple is a true champion for those who often cannot speak for themselves.

 

Ag Chat Foundation

“Consumers have sincere questions about their food, fuel and fiber, and it is our goal to help farmers and ranchers answer those questions while making lasting connections… The conversation surrounding our products is happening with or without us. When we do not give voice to our stories, we are allowing the FoodBabes and Dr. Ozs of the world, to write our legacies. It is crucial that we stand up and use our #FarmVoices.”- Jenny SchweigertAgChat Foundation Executive Director

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The AgChat Foundation educates and equips farmers, ranchers, agribusiness professionals and educators with the necessary tools to make meaningful connections with consumers. On paper, its community encompasses over 100,000 on social media platforms. The highly visible #AgChat and #FoodChat conversations have had active attendance by over 15,000 participants who span over 12 different countries. This year, the foundation has added several training opportunities including the successful 2015 Collegiate Congress held in January, the 2nd Annual Pacific Northwest Agvocacy Conference and their National Conference scheduled for November 12-13 in Nashville, TN. Their events have offered trainings which include consumer panels, managing relationships with detractors, blogging inspiration, hands-on sessions such as using Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, interactive sessions on photography and video production, time management, reaching beyond the choir, personal branding, podcasting, Prezi and more. New sessions such as organizing and executing farm tours and improving interpersonal connections were recently added to their roster.

 

Sarah Gayton, Farmers on Film

“The recognition our vision for Farmers on Film has received is overwhelming and it goes to everybody that has helped to turn it into reality since I came up with the idea in 2010. It shows what inspiration can achieve and why the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics were so important in the UK.”- Sarah GaytonFarmers on Film

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Sarah Gayton is the founder and driving force behind “Farmers on Film” – a project inspired by the 2012 London Olympic Games.  The aim has been to link famers directly to consumers through videos of 3 minutes or less. Sarah recognised the ability to instantly link consumers with producers by using smart phones to scan QR codes on food packaging, allowing them to view a short video on the food producer at the point of sale.  These films are also spread via social media. Sarah has campaigned across the UK and into other countries; expending a huge amount of time and effort encouraging food producers to create their own authentic but brief films, and share them. Sarah is also an award winning film maker, award winning artisan baker and has been awarded a medal for her work in Kosovo with the United Nations.

 

Peterson Farm Bros

“The reason we make YouTube videos and produce social media content about agriculture is because we believe everyone should know the truth about who farmers are and what we are doing. The worldwide community of people producing the food that you enjoy is a passionate, hard working, trustworthy group of people. It’s time we celebrate what farm families do and recognize those of us who dedicate our lives to providing safe and healthy food!”– Peterson Farm Bros

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of the Peterson Farm Brothers and seen at least one of their entertaining parody videos. These three brothers grew up and still work on their family farm near Assaria, KS with their parents and sister. Each of them attend or attended Kansas State University, where Greg graduated after majoring in Agricultural Communications and Journalism, Nathan is a junior majoring in Agriculture Technology Management, and Kendal is a freshman majoring in Agribusiness. In June of 2012, they released a parody video on YouTube called “I’m Farming and I Grow It” that quickly went viral, receiving over 9 million views. Since then they have released many more videos and are now up to 35 million total views on YouTube. These videos have given the brothers many opportunities around the world to promote agriculture, however their goal is still to operate the family farm together after college.

 

The Farmer’s Daughter USA

“My passion for agriculture is rooted in my childhood growing up on our family farm. It’s personal and part of who we are as a family. Through advocating for agriculture, I hope to share that passion and personal connection to agriculture with consumers, as well as defend and support family farms that share our experience.”– Amanda, The Farmer’s Daughter USA

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Amanda, “The Farmer’s Daughter USA” is from Southwest Michigan where her family farms 2,000 acres of corn and soybeans. For 26 years, Amanda and her family ran and supplied a roadside market selling their own fresh fruits and vegetables. After graduating college, Amanda attended law school at Michigan State University College of Law and is now a practicing lawyer. She also “ag-vocates” at her blog TheFarmersDaughterUSA.comabout issues facing modern agriculture.

 

Andrew Campbell – #Farm365

“My passion for farming is a similar one to the majority of Canadian farmers. We love the work we do, are proud of the product we sell & do it all focusing on the animals & land under our care. In today’s world, with consumers having incredible access to information I think it is important for farmers to get out of our comfort zone & actually talk about that passion we have for what we do. It can give a consumer a sense of comfort in knowing what the farmer is doing day to day.”– Andrew Campbell, creator of #Farm365

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Andrew Campbell is a farmer with a passion for agriculture advocacy, social media and new technology who made headlines this year when he coined the hashtag  #Farm365 and committed to posting real world images of what it’s like to live and work on a farm each day of 2015.  Through his family farm, Bellson Farms, he and his family milk holsteins and grow corn, soybeans, wheat and hay in Southern Ontario’s Middlesex County. With his communications company Fresh Air Media, he speaks and works with companies and organizations across Canada interested in harnessing the power of today’s communication tools to inform a consumer about agriculture, food and farm practices. He also works with farmers interested in utilizing new tools and technology (like smartphones).

 

Debbie Lyons-Blythe

“Consumers are interested in what we do. We need to see this as an opportunity, not a cause for defensiveness. Most people just want to know how their food is raised so they can buy safe, nutritious food for their family–just like me!” – Debbie Lyons-Blythe

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Debbie Lyons-Blythe is a life-long cattle rancher in the Flint Hills of Kansas. She and her husband raised 5 kids helping on the land the Blythe family homesteaded in 1890. Today Debbie raises registered Angus Bulls, markets crossbred bred heifers and started blogging in 2009 atkidscowsandgrass.com to tell some stories about ranch life and answer questions from people who don’t live in rural areas. She is active on social media and ardently encourages others to get involved in agvocacy.

 

Feed Yard Foodie

“I have been told that I have the passion of a convert.  As someone that did not grow up in agriculture,  I can truly appreciate both the joy of being a farmer and also the confusion of not understanding where your food comes from.  As an advocate for agriculture, I try to close that gap so that customers can have a sense of my life as a beef farmer and feel good about the steak that they proudly feed to their families.” – Anne BurkholderFeed Yard Foodie blogger

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What do you call a foodie who runs a cattle feedyard?  A “Feed Yard Foodie”, that’s what!  Anne Burkholder grew up like the vast majority of Americans – two or more generations removed from the farm. The native of urban Palm Beach County, Florida was an Ivy League educated athlete, fueled by beef for many years before she ever understood where her beef came from. Anne had never even heard of a feedyard until touring that of her future father-in-law; inaccurately thinking that all cattle traveled straight from the pasture to the packing plant. Two years later (June 1997), she went to work at the feedyard, which she now runs with her husband and three children in Nebraska.  Amidst the animals, the land, and the never-ending list of chores, she learned powerful lessons that continue to guide her on her journey of humanely raising food animals. Her “Feed Yard Foodi” blog is a site where people can come to read about the real story of beef, written by someone who actually gets their hands dirty.

 

Janice Person

“I have always enjoyed sharing photos and stories, but once I found agriculture, something clicked. Getting to know so many incredible farmers, seeing how intertwined their work is with the environment, how deep their passion for it is. There is something sort of magical about that and capturing it to be shared helps more people understand where our food comes from. It’s so much fun that it inspires me to do this stuff on my nights and weekends after my regular job.” – Janice Person

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Janice Person is a city girl who didn’t visit a farm until she was in grad school studying journalism. But that first farm trip awakened a passion for the people who grow our food & fiber. Although agricultural communications has long paid the bills, her path in social media has been driven by her personal passion for sharing farmers stories and her enthusiasm for learning from new experiences and people. She started her Twitter account (@JPlovesCOTTON) and personal blog (JanicePerson.com) in 2009 and has become friends with a wide range of farmers through social media. In fact, for the month of April, she is sharing stories about farms representing each letter of the alphabet!

 

Brian Scott

“Today, with technology like smartphones, it’s easy for farmers and ranchers to use a few seconds of their day to show the rest of the world why it is they are so passionate about their jobs.” – Brian Scott, The Farmer’s Life

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Brian Scott is a family farmer in northwest Indiana working 2,100 acres with his father and grandfather where they raise corn, soybeans, popcorn, and wheat. Scott is a Purdue Ag Alumni with a Bachelor’s degree in Soil and Crop Management.  His farm employs biotechnology, and because it is a hot topic, he advocates for it openly. Through his blog “The Farmer’s Life” and guest articles on other sites such as CNN’s Eatocracy and 12 Most, he writes about daily life on the farm and his family’s use of precision agriculture, GMOs, drones, and cover crops.  Brian is also a member of the AgChat Foundation board of directors where he helps others in the ag industry learn how to tell their stories.

 

Rob Wallbridge

“My passion for agriculture comes from its unique potential to have a positive impact on the health of individual people, rural communities and landscapes, and the environment as a whole – there’s no other industry like it! “ – Rob WallbridgeThe Fanning Mill

 

 

Rob Wallbridge grew up on conventional dairy and cash crop farms in Ontario, Canada. He currently operates Songberry Organic Farm in Bristol, Quebec with his wife and two young children, supplying vegetables to stores and kitchens in the Ottawa area. Rob is a trained organic certification inspector, a graduate of Ontario’s Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program, and a past board member of the Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario. He volunteers on the Livestock Working Group of the Canadian General Standards Board Organic Technical Committee and consults widely on organic production and certification. Rob guest blogs forRealAgriculture.com and the Genetic Literacy Project in addition to maintaining his own blog, The Fanning Mill.

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Meaghan Thornhill

“Think of the consumer as a friend. They are not the enemy. Focus on building relationships first, instead of educating. Everyone has emotional connections to food, let’s transfer the same positivity to farming.” –Meaghan Thornhill, Modern Milk Maid

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Meaghan Thornhill runs  a small dairy farm in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, with her partner Laughlin MacDonald. She grew up in Ontario and never anticipated farming as a career. After graduating from Queen’s University in 2006 with a degree in Psychology, she fell in love with a farmer…and his cows. She had always loved animals, but had never spent much time around cows. She quickly grew to love their quirky personalities as well as the science behind many aspects of farming. In 2012 she joined the farm full time, taking over all breeding decisions and heifer raising.   Living on “both sides of the fence”, she saw a great need to connect consumers with farmers. With most of the population a few generations removed from the farm, and a growing desire to learn where their food comes from, she believed that  social media was a great way to make connections. She soon  launched the Farmers of Canada account. Known as rotation curation, each week a different Canadian farmer tweets about their daily life. In 3 years it grew to over 10,000 followers, reaching people across the world.

An 11 Year Old Farmer Shows Why Farmers are the Most Passionate Professionals in the World

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The passionate people in agriculture is one of the things that makes being a farmer so great. Farming’s hard work and it takes guts, ambition and yes, a huge amount of passion to bring food to the tables of people all around the world.

Today I’m happy to share an amazing story about a farmer who’s just crushing it. Britton Pointer, is an 11 year old Texan cotton farmer. That’s right, 11 years old, and for the past 2 years he’s been farming 22 acres of cotton.

His love for the crop began when he was still in diapers, riding in the tractor with his grandpa. By the age of 8, Britton was driving tractors himself, and then at 10 he planted and stripped his first cotton crop, all by himself. Talk about passion.

His dream is to become an agronomist and farmer. He gets up early in the morning, before school starts, and goes out to the field to check on things. When he gets home from school, he goes back to the fields for the rest of the day. His passion for farming is amazing.

He says that he wants to feed the world. Looks like he’s well on his way!

What Does Rick Mercer Know About Farming?

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It all started with a trip to a cattle ranch. At least, that’s where learning about cattle and country music started for Rick Mercer. In this hilarious video, Rick visits country star, Brett Kissel, on his family cattle ranch in Flatt Lake, Alberta to learn all about farming. From learning how to write a country hook, to doing a “preg check” on cattle, join Rick as he tours around Brett Kissel’s family ranch.

The World’s Greenest Maternity Ward

gm1For some, it can be hard to understand how a farmer can actually care and feel emotion for an animal that is being raised to one day enter the food chain.

But when a farmer decides to raise livestock for the purpose of food production, they take an unwritten oath to provide their animals with the utmost of care, protection and respect from the moment when life begins to the last point on the circle of life.  It’s a responsibility that is not taken lightly.

These intimate moments, captured by real farmers, show the compassion that is given to livestock right from the moment they are born.

 

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@PineValleyDairy (Mineral Point, Wisconsin)

Excited for a new #allstar heifer! #FarmVoices everyday is #EarthDay on the #farm… #newlife #dairy

 

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@BrentingbyFarm (Melton Mowbray, UK)

#farmvoices #earthday #teamdairy things we love about farming

 

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@ChapFarms (Husser, Louisiana)

Welcome to the world little pigs!

 

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@NewlandFarm (Exmoor, UK)

@farmon @TheFarmingForum #FarmVoices One reason to love farming #teambeefnsheep #2014UNIYFF #familyfarms #agproud

 

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@FarmBoyProd (Guelph, Ontario)

Happy #EarthDay everyone! Calves from yesterday are doing well and are inside hiding from the rain #FarmVoices

 

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@PVickerton (East Yorkshire, UK)

 

@farmon @TheFarmingForum #FarmVoices cos its kind of special being there when this happens….

 

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@Dunvirkin (New Zealand) 

Maternity Ward in the Alpaca paddock.All are well and mum back to very friendly self. #farmvoices

 

 

This Earth Day we’re connecting through the language of food by joining together in the #FarmVoices movement.  Here are 3 ways you can take action today.

  1. Join the conversation on Twitter with the hash tag#FarmVoices
  2. Check out hundreds more#FarmVoices stories streaming live on our website at http://farmon.com/farmvoices/
  3. Visit our Facebook Pageto see the latest updates about #FarmVoices

He Knew at Age 3, but still can’t Find the Words. One Young Farmer’s Story of Love and Loss.

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FarmOn has teamed up with Alberta Farm Animal Care to create The Heart Of A Farmer video series – taking a deeper look at the humans behind the farm gate, their lives, their love for animals and their passion for agriculture.  This is the story of James Jenkins, a young farmer in southern Alberta who has had a very special connection with cattle since he learned to walk.  One time, at the age of 3 years old, he wandered off into his uncle’s pasture to hunt for mushrooms and follow the cows, and none of the adults had any idea where he had gone.

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At 1:58 into this video, James describes something he had to do that is so hard for many consumers to understand, but it’s something that so many of us as farmers have experienced.  It’s part of what shapes us, and it’s part of the story of food and farming.  And we think that makes it pretty important.  Here is James’ story:

Gary Vaynerchuk on Sharing your Farm Story

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I have always been a large fan of Gary Vaynerchuk. For those of you who don’t know him, Gary started to use social media for his business purposes long before you and I had even joined Facebook. He created a video podcast called Wine Library TV, which features wine reviews and advice on wine appreciation.

Gary went on to create one of my favourite social media books for beginners. Crush It! gives practical “social advice” that will help you avoid or deal with those awkward schoolyard moments you may happen upon using social media. It also provides you with some great basic steps to help you get up and running on all the major networks. It is by far the most simple, effective book you will find. The man is great at getting to the point and cutting out all the fluff.

You can imagine my excitement when Gary committed to doing an interview everyday for a year. As I went to his site to apply to be one of his interviews, it just so happened that he had already interviewed with Courtney Sullivan on the importance of telling your family farm story.

This podcast is filled with practical advice and shares with you the power of the farmer’s story. Please listen and join us on April. 22, 2013, Earth Day to share your own farm story through pictures. To find out more check out this video:

 

What’s your story? Feel free to share them with us, we’d love to hear!