“Our Government remains focused on the economy and we recognize the value of young farmers’ contribution to the health and well-being of Canada,” said Mr. Anderson, Member of Parliament (Cypress Hills-Grasslands). “Economic opportunities are on the horizon for this industry’s future leaders and we know our young and beginning farmers will continue to keep Canada competitive.”
In addition to investments directly in the COYFP, Anderson reiterated the importance of investing in science as a way of expanding market opportunities in the agriculture industry and leading more young people to choose farming as a rewarding and profitable career. He highlighted the Government’s recent announcement of a $ 50 million AgriInnovation Program to help farmers turn good ideas into marketable opportunities.
The Harper Government has also introduced the Marketing Freedom for Grain Farmers Act, that when passed by Parliament, will give Western Canadian wheat and barley farmers the same rights and privileges already enjoyed by farmers in eastern Canada.
He explained that an open grain market will attract investment, encourage innovation, create value-added jobs, and give young farmers the opportunity to succeed in an increasingly competitive marketplace. He concluded that Western farmers, particularly those young and beginning farmers, are more than equipped with the entrepreneurial spirit and know-how to market their grain, just as they do with their other crops.
“The Government of Canada wants to be sure young farmers, including those in Western Canada, can capitalize on market opportunities to stay ahead of the curve,” said Anderson. “That’s why our Government is making sure they have the marketing freedom that will allow them to make the decisions that are best for their individual farm business.”
Each year, COYFP hosts seven regional Outstanding Young Farmers (OYF) competitions across the country, culminating with the national competition at which time two nominees are named as Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers. In addition to celebrating the achievements of the winners, these events also play a major role in increasing the awareness and importance of agriculture in Canada.