Harper Government Invests in Next Generation of Farm Leaders

Harper Government Invests in Next Generation of Farm Leaders 
TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 11/19/12 -- The Harper Government
is helping the agricultural sector to foster a new generation of farm
leaders. Member of Parliament Mark Adler (York Centre), on behalf of
Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, announced at the Ontario Young
Farmers Forum in Toronto today an investment for two initiatives that
will help to identify opportunities and address issues facing the
next generation of farmers.  
"Our Government's top priority remains the economy, and Canada's
agriculture industry plays an important role in creating jobs and
keeping our economy strong," said MP Adler. "We are committed to
providing new and young farmers with the educational and leadership
development opportunities they need to give them a competitive
advantage for the future." 
The Rural Ontario Institute (ROI) will receive an investment of
$202,000 to conduct an in-depth assessment of current and past
agricultural leadership programming to identify where gaps exist and
find the best solutions for addressing those gaps. This major review
will build on past agricultural leadership programming, such as the
Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program (AALP), and on results from
research and pilot projects conducted by the ROI to help them develop
a comprehensive strategy that will set the direction for future
agricultural leadership programming in Ontario. 
"We are delighted that Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is
recognizing the importance of investing in the future direction of
leadership development through this investment," said Rob Black,
Chief Executive Officer of the Rural Ontario Institute. "This project
provides ROI with the opportunity to undertake a full review of the
long-running AALP to identify necessary changes to both content and
delivery methodologies in order to achieve the greatest impact for
the best cost, provide recruiting techniques for future program
participants, and provide an estimate of the macro-economic benefit
of the program to agriculture and the rural industry." 
The Junior Farmers' Association of Ontario (JFAO) has received an
investment of $53,500 to assess issues facing new farmers in the
province. This project will look at barriers that restrict the access
of new entrants t
o farming as well as the opportunities that exist
for this key demographic group. A steering committee made up of the
Ontario Federation of Agriculture, Christian Farmers Federation of
Ontario, FarmStart, TD Canada Trust, Bank of Montreal, and 4-H
Ontario provides guidance for this study. Interim results from this
study are being presented at the Ontario Young Farmers Forum.  
"This investment has allowed the JFAO the ability to reach out to new
farm entrants and understand the challenges and opportunities they
face," says Sarah McLaren, President of the JFAO. "New entrants will
benefit from the support of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada by
creating a roadmap for the future of the next generation of farm
This Harper Government investment is being provided through the
Canadian Agricultural Adaptation Program (CAAP), a five-year
(2009-2014), $163-million initiative that aims to help the Canadian
agricultural sector adapt and remain competitive. In Ontario, the
regional component of CAAP is delivered by the Agricultural
Adaptation Council (AAC).  
For more information on CAAP, please visit www.agr.gc.ca/caap. 
To learn more about the AAC, please visit www.adaptcouncil.org.
Media Relations
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
Jeff English
Press Secretary
The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
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