"Sowing Seeds for the Future: Apprenticeship in Organic Agriculture" is just primed to start it's second season and Apprenticeship Coordinator Sarah Belanger is very excited. "We are working with New farmers as opposed to Young farmers" stressed Belanger. Apprentices are from their late twenties to forties so many have had another career before. "I perceive there is a growing sense of respect for farmers - there's more cultural recognition now. Our program brings out the beauty and value of farming"
Instructor Elaine Spearing stresses that many of the interns have quite a bit of experience already. "We are aiming to equip people with skills and knowledge that lets them go further (and) make their progression (with farming) more productive. Some (of our interns) had home gardens but some lived in apartments. We encourage people to go work for established farmers so they can learn a farm system" stressed Spearing.
According to Belanger, in the last 60 years (1941-2001) the percentage of the Canadian population living on farms has decreased from 26% to 2.4% . Only .5% of our population are farmers and their median age is 50. "Who is going to grow our food in the future? asks Belanger.
For further information about the program or for your own interest see the videos posted on you-tube. Start with: