I was in Nova Scotia on Sunday visiting farmers who are starting their own farm then on Monday I spoke at a Beginning Farmer Symposium organized by the Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network (ACORN). It was good to see so many young people interested in and starting their own farms.
Organic agriculture offers young people a great opportunity. While it can be more labor intensive, it does allow for higher returns off a given piece of land, unique products, and a safe environment for raising a young family. There is another major hidden benefit. We are seeing a rising number of older people who own land but are not in a position to farm it. Many of these people will gladly lend or rent for a small fee to young farmers who will work the land without using chemicals. If land is not worked, it will grow up in bushes and lose value. With the increased awareness of chemicals in the environment, organic farming offers peace of mind for the landowner and opportunity for the farmer with limited resources - a win win situation all around.
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