About CYFF

CYFF_board

Young Farmers are Agriculture's Future

The Canadian Young Farmers’ Forum is a vital national organization, that provides conferences, BMP workshops, and funding and support to 11 provincial and territorial organizations.

The CYFF connects leading young agriculture producers across Canada, to provide support, encouragement and resources to promote agriculture.

Young farmers are key to the revitalization and growth of the agriculture sector. As the average age of a farmer is increasing (from 48 to 52 between 1996 and 2006), the sector’s capacity to attract and retain young farmers is important.

Young and beginning farmers face specific challenges such as access to capital, access to farm assets, and high debt levels. Nevertheless, young people continue to enter the sector with
an energetic entrepreneurial spirit, respect for the environment, innovative ideas and new ways of doing business.

Recognizing the importance of supporting and assisting young and beginning farmers, the
CYFF was established in 1997, with the motive to assist young farmers with information while
exchanging ideas that lead to progressive strategies to ensure farming success in Canada. Through
networking with young farmers, industry partner organizations and the provincial affiliated young
farmer groups, our organization’s goals are to provide education, leadership training and capacity
building for young agriculture producers of Canada.

The CYFF Organization

Mission: Empowered Canadians leading a profitable and attractive agriculture industry.

Vision: To educate and energize a powerful network of young farm leaders.

The CYFF’s purpose is to provide a multi-faceted educational and development opportunity for young
and beginning farmers from across Canada. More specifically, to:

  • Identify the problems encountered by young people looking to become established in agriculture, and to exchange ideas about solutions applied in Canada and around the world;
  • Promote the exchange of ideas on issues of training and capacity building, and to identify program needs and preferred delivery methods;
  • Enable young people throughout Canada to become familiar with the realities of the agriculture industry in every province;
  • Prepare young and beginning farmers for a more active role in Canada’s agricultural organizations;
  • Consolidate the opinion of young and beginning farmers across Canada on agriculture and rural issues; and
  • Facilitate the development of and provide support to provincial young farmer structures in every province and territory in the Country.

Training and Education

Training and education are important to young farmers as they develop their farming businesses,
which contribute to the agriculture industry as a whole. Formal education, as well as extension
training and service, are essential to keep young farmers efficient, effective, and forward-thinking.
Incentive programs for education help to ensure a progressive agriculture industry through the efforts
of young farmers.

Farm Transfers & Succession Planning

The largest transfer of wealth in our history will take place over the next several decades. Support is
needed to facilitate this transfer between generations in a way that benefits the agriculture industry
and the rural economy.

Young Farmer’s Voice

Support is needed for young farmer organizations as they fulfill an important role of identifying challenges
and developing solutions that work for young and beginning farmers. This kind of perspective
is important not only for new policy direction specific to young farmers, but in all areas of agriculture
policy which impacts the future of a young farmer’s livelihood.

Agriculture Awareness

Public support of the agriculture industry is essential to the long term viability of Canadian food
producers. Young farmers recognize the important role that agriculture awareness plays in their
future success.

CYFF's Activities

Annual Networking Conference & General Meeting

Young and beginning farmers from across Canada gather together once each year for the Annual
Meeting & Conference of the Canadian Young Farmers’ Forum. Any young farmer of Canada is
welcome to attend the annual event. Through government and sponsorship funding, the CYFF funds
delegates from each provincial and territorial region to attend the annual conference. The annual
conference charges young producers, providing valuable knowledge which producers take back to
their own operation to initiate changes that will shape their future in agriculture.

Best Management Practice (BMP) Workshops Deliverance

Through extensive research encompassing farm communities in Canada, the United States
and Mexico, 9-best management practices (BMP) of leading farmers have been identified. The CYFF
workshop series will present these BMP concepts in an open discussion forum, allowing participants
to share their own experiences in the management area. BMP topics include Vision for the Farm,
Leadership, Risk Management, Human Resources Management, Relationships, Alliances & Value
Chains, Production, Innovation & Environmental Management, Financial & Asset Management, Marketing
Management, and Confidence & Motivation. Participants will also learn from the experiences
and opinions of their peers.

While a traditional workshop series may focus on intense exploration of technical skills, the
CYFF workshop allows for open dialogue and a group rating of the level of implementation of each
BMP, identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the group.

Through CYFF’s speakers and innovative workshops, our goal is to increase all participants’
knowledge of the agriculture industry and provide positive tools to aid young farmers in successful
farm management. Through the development of both national and provincial structures, participants’
leadership skills are enhanced and prepare you to take a more active role in agriculture and rural
organizations.

With increased opportunities for dialogue, networking and action planning amongst participants,
organizations, and industry stakeholders, more effective programs and policies across the
country will result. The industry will also benefit from the creation of a pool of skilled future leaders
with an awareness of issues in Canadian agriculture and a proven commitment to developing collaborative,
creative solutions.

Supporting and Funding 11 provincial affiliated organizations

CYFF is the national organization affiliated with provincial and territorial organizations. Each year
the CYFF funds each provincial organization up to $10,000 for a provincial project and sponsors
delegates to attend the annual conference and AGM.

  • Newfoundland and Labrador Young Farmers Forum
  • Young Farmers of Prince Edward Island
  • Nova Scotia Young Farmers Forum
  • New Brunswick Young Farmers Forum
  • La FRAQ – Federation de la releve agricole du Quebec
  • Junior Farmers’ Association of Ontario
  • Keystone Agriculture Producers
  • Saskatchewan Young Ag-Entrepreneurs
  • Alberta Young Farmers and Ranchers
  • BC Young Farmers
  • Yukon Young Farmers

Board of Directors Face-to-Face Meetings

Twice a year, the elected board of directors meet face-to-face to focus on the organization; setting
directions and planning activities that will better agriculture for young producers in Canada and
advance the organization.

Involvement on National Agriculture Boards

The CYFF board of directors are active members of many national agriculture organizations, bringing
insight from the perspective of a young agriculture producer to various policy meeting rooms. Some
of the committees the CYFF board of directors sit on include the Canadian Federation of Agriculture,
Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture, 4-H Canada, Canadian Agriculture Human
Resource Council, Canadian Agriculture Safety Association, Grain Growers of Canada, as well as,
many others.

Often government and industry groups regularly invite the CYFF to attend conferences or sit on committees
to bring forth the prospective of young farmers.

The CYFF organization is continually exploring additional ways to contribute to agriculture in a positive way, by supporting the growth of the industry, assisting producers to developing skills providing business education and encouraging innovative advancements to agriculture.