Any typical farmer’s story from decades past is often dotted with the unmistakable memory of “tough financial times” and the reality of hard work for little pay that seems inherently part of the most humble of trades.
Farmers had little guidance in the past on how to make a solid business plan let alone planning for the future, instead it was just hard work for honest pay, every day, even though the pay has not really ever been honest in comparison to the enormous physical labour involved.
Family-run farms that have survived on passion and grit to see their land turn profit in today’s times, now have a new foe to consider; who will take up the plough when they’re gone? Many small farms without interested younger family members to take over are banking on larger operations to absorb them at a decent price, or maybe sell land for residential rezoning if expansion has become a chance opportunity.
This paints a grim picture for aspiring young farmers who will have a harder time competing with rapidly growing large-scale “bulk” farms. Organic farming is a natural evolution of the small family-run farming operation, with greater potential for profits and a more hands-on process. Success however comes at the expense of waiting long years for proper certification before even being allowed to market one’s self as being certified organic to the public.
Quebec has a thriving organic farming industry, taking first spot in 2016 to out-rank Saskatchewan as the previous leader for sheer numbers of organic farms. This boads well for the next generation of young farming enthusiasts, who hopefully will be better equipped to handle the bigger issues that come from working on and off the fertile soil.