Join the conversation on new farmers at FSC’s 9th Assembly on Friday Oct 14th

The New Farmer Initiative, a collaboration between Food Secure Canada, Farmstart and the National New Farmer Coalition is organizing two sessions at the Assembly focused on challenges and opportunities of new ecological farmers in Canada. 

With changes coming soon to Federal and Provincial Agricultural policy, as well as the development of a National Food Policy, we have a unique opportunity to address the challenges facing new ecological farmers and ensure that they are key players in building and strengthening a sustainable agriculture and food system in Canada!

Panel: Dig-In! Cultivating Possibilities for New Ecological Farmers
Friday October 14th 4-5:30 pm
Explore new trends amongst new farmers and different promising models and programs that are emerging to tackle the challenges of land access and tenureship, financing and new farmer training and knowledge exchange. Our panelists Jean-Martin Fortier (QC) and Heather Pritchard (BC) will be joined by moderator Jordan Marr to discuss the exciting initiatives they are developing.  Following presentations by the panelists there will be an opportunity for questions and discussion amongst all attendees to share ideas on how we can grow similar initiatives in support of new farmers across the country. 




Heather Pritchard is the Farm Manager with FarmFolk CityFolk in BC. She is a long time food activist and co-founder/farmer with Glorious Organics Co-op in the Fraser Valley. Heather is also the BC Chair of Slow Food Canada. Heather will share exciting updates on the progress of several land trust initiatives in BC, working to address the challenge of affordable and secure land tenure for new ecological farmers. 





Jean-Martin Fortier is a farmer, educator and author specializing in organic and biologically intensive cropping practices. Along with his wife, Maude-Hélène Desroches, he runs Les Jardins de la Grelinette, an internationally recognized 10-acre farm in Quebec, Canada. Jean-Martin has recently embarked on an exciting new farming venture with a focus on training a new crop of new farmers in organic and biologically intensive techniques. 



Workshop: Turning the Tide: Making Agricultural Policy work for New Farmers
Friday October 14th 11-12:30 (Part A)  2-3:30pm (Part B)
Reserve your place for the policy workshop, space limited (no additional cost)

*You must also be registered for the Assembly in order to attend this workshop. 

How can we work together as farmers and farm organization to more effectively achieve policy shifts that support new ecological farmers at the provincial and national level?

The Federal government is currently drafting Growing Forward 3 (GF3)- the next policy framework that will shape provincial and federal agricultural policy over the next 5 years in Canada beginning April 1, 2018. In order to move forward and address the policy needs of ecological farmer under GF3 and beyond, the New Farmer Initiative is partnering with Innoweave to facilitate a policy advocacy training workshop to build our capacity to get our voice heard on the Hill.

Innoweave’s coach, Sean Moore, will guide us through the ins and outs of developing policy asks, engaging policy makers and government decision-makers and how to implement an effective policy-shift strategy. 

This is a crucial moment for us to work together to ensure that the next federal agricultural policy framework addresses the needs of new ecological farmers.  This will also be an opportunity for us to begin to brainstorm our long term goals for new farmers in Canada beyond the next Agricultural Policy Framework. What change would we like to achieve in the next 2,5,10 years?


Sean Moore is Founder and Principal of Advocacy School and one of Canada’s most experienced practitioners, writers and teachers on public-policy advocacy. He has more than 30 years experience in public-policy and advocacy related to local, provincial/state and federal government affairs in Canada and the United States. He is a former Partner and Public-Policy Advisor with the national law firm Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP, a former president of what was then then Canada's largest government relations consulting firm and a vice-president of a Washington, DC-based public-policy research and consulting company.




Need help getting to the Assembly?  There are limited funds available to contribute to travel costs to attend for new farmers and new farmer organizations.  Please fill out this form if you would like to request a travel subsidy and get in touch with us at newfarmerinitiative AT  Priority will be given to those coming from furthest away, as well as prioritizing participation from historically marginalized communities. 


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