Youth Agriculture Association formed

The Manitoulin Youth Agriculture Association has now been formed on Manitoulin Island. Taking part in the first organizing meeting of the group last Sunday was, left to right, Alex Martin, Cameron Runnalls, Nick Martin, Dylan Tustian, Kyle Burt, Andrew Vokes, Dave Hillyard and Jordan Miller.

MANITOULIN––The Manitoulin Youth Agriculture Association (MYFA) has now been formed on Manitoulin Island.

“The reason we are having this meeting is that Nick (Martin), Cameron (Runnalls), Alex (Martin) and I had been talking and had thought, why not try to form an association,” said Andrew Vokes of Evansville, during a barbecue meeting of young farmers from across the Island this past Sunday held in Barrie Island. “Based on the number we have here tonight and the people that I’ve talked to in the past little while there is definitely enough interest, and we will grow (in terms of members) from here.”
It was agreed by the group of seven on hand for the meeting to form an association on the Island. 
“Are we going to have a formal structure in place with a president and secretary-treasurer?”asked Dave Hillyard.  “By having a structure we can  confirm that we are an official group. It will help for example when we want to have representatives from say the University of Guelph to visit and make presentations here.”

“I’m all for this (forming an organized group),” said Mr. Vokes. 

The group decided that it would form its  own organization and look at having its own bank account to get started.  A motion to this effect was put forward by Nick Martin and seconded by Mr. Hillyard. 

The group decided on and passed a motion to formally name the group the Manitoulin Youth Agriculture Association. 

There was also a lot of discussion around possible farm tours and field trips that the group would like to be participate in and they are looking at planning a trip to Bruce County in August to visit a farming operation. 

“What does everyone feel about having an annual membership fee?”asked Mr. Vokes. 

Mr. Hillyard suggested a $40 per year membership fee. It was pointed out as more members join the group membership fees could potentially be decreased in the future. The group also decided voting members could include those who are between the age of  16-40.

Mr. Vokes was elected as president of the association, with Nick Martin elected as secretary-treasurer, each for a two year term.

As was reported previously, the idea had been brought forward for a Manitoulin association being formed, designed to unite young people from across Manitoulin who see agriculture as an interest or career option. The goal is to find all young adults who are interested or already in the agriculture industry who see this as an interest or career option and unite them through this association.

Mr. Vokes said the association is encouraging any youth on Manitoulin who are interested in becoming a member of the group to contact them. Those interested can call (705)-348-1415 or by email at for more information or to join.