Farm Facts and Furrows

by OMAFRA Ag Rep Brian Bell

Business Risk Management programs

Unpredictable weather, crop or animal disease, market volatility, high input costs: risks like these can significantly impact your farm’s bottom line, and future success. The right programs and tools can minimize the impact of losses.

Business Risk Management (BRM) programs help farmers manage risks that threaten the viability of the farm. They provide protection against different types of income and production losses: AgriStability provides support when you experience a large margin decline. AgriInvest provides cash flow to help you manage income declines. AgriInsurance provides cost-shared insurance against natural hazards to reduce the financial impact of production or asset losses.

The Agricultural Youth Green Jobs Initiative is back!

The great success of the Agricultural Youth Green Jobs Initiative, launched in 2016, has led to its renewal this year with an additional $5.2 million available over the next two years. The program gives farms or farm groups access to funding so they can hire Canadian youth to complete environmental projects. The initiative is part of the Government of Canada’s Youth Employment Strategy to help young people gain the skills, work experience and abilities they need to succeed in the labour market. It helps farmers, non-profits and other organizations in the agricultural sector create jobs for Canadians who are 30 years or younger and want to work in agriculture.

In the program’s first year, 45 green farm jobs and 102 green internships were created across the country. Projects included composting, permaculture, land preparation for certified organic production, and the construction of a root cellar for alternative storage for a family operation. Agricultural companies, conservation area organizations and associations completed more than 100 green internships. Some of these involved sustainable crop analysis, environmental instrumentation and monitoring, and projects to support consumer education for local food baskets. If you are looking to make environmental improvements to your farm, or if your organization provides environmental benefits to the agriculture sector, you may be eligible to apply. There are two streams: The Green Farms stream offers farmers funding for up to 50 percent of the cost of hiring young interns, to a maximum of $10,000 per worker. The Green Internships stream offers organizations up to 50 percent of the cost of hiring young workers (up to $16,000 per intern) for environmental activities, services or research that will benefit the agriculture sector. Non-profits with five or fewer employees may be eligible for funding of up to 80 percent. For both streams, projects must be no longer than 12 months in length and interns must be between the ages of 15 and 30 inclusive. The internship stream requires that the interns be post-secondary graduates. Applications are being accepted now, and will be approved on a first-come, first-served basis until all funds have been allocated. For more information, call 1-866-452-5558.