The National New Farmer Coalition is composed of new farmers as well as new farmer organizations, initiatives, and supporters working at national, provincial and regional levels. The Coalition exists to:
- Encourage and support a new generation of farmers in Canada; and,
- Advance Food Sovereignty in Canada.
The National New Farmer Coalition evolved from discussions at a NFU Youth Retreat in Spring 2014. Inspired by the success of the National Young Farmers Coalition in the US and recognizing the need for better new farmer policies and programs in Canada, we set out to build a collaborative, farmer-driven grassroots initiative to encourage and support a new generation of farmers in Canada.
The Coalition is not a registered organization; rather it is a collaborative project of individuals and organizations, including The National Farmers Union, Food Secure Canada and Young Agrarians, that are involved in various food and farming issues. The Coalition is directed by a Steering Committee whose membership is composed of a majority of new farmers (50% + 1) as well as individuals and representative(s) of partner organizations.
The National New Farmer Coalition aims to:
- Network, leverage the strengths and catalyse the work of farmers, new farmer organizations, initiatives and supporters. We are convening coalition members via communications technology and in person events that provide opportunities for strategic and focused planning.
- Research new farmer challenges and opportunities. We developed a new farmer survey that was recently disseminated across Canada. The survey drew on agricultural organizations, communities and civil society to make contact with both new and experienced farmers, as well as those who have left the profession. We received over 1,300 responses to this survey and are beginning to analyze the results, which will give us a new, detailed and very valuable set of data on the challenges and opportunities faced by new farmers throughout the country.
- Develop a National New Farmer Policy Platform. We will use our survey data set, as well as existing new farmer research and resources, to identify and develop policy and programming recommendations for national and sub-national governments.
- Connect, engage and mobilize new farmers and civil society. We will develop an advocacy, communication and engagement strategy to build a campaign around the National New Farmer Policy Platform. We will work towards translating the policy platform into concrete legislative and programming changes at national, provincial and regional governments.
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