by Matthew Carlson
Since late 2017, the Newfoundland and Labrador Young Farmers’ Forum (NLYFF) has been seeking mentors and mentees to start a small pilot program. The mentorship initiative will match three to five pairs of participants to test the feasibility of such a program in the province and provide the hands-on learning so many new farmers are seeking.
So far, we have had interest from potential mentors and mentees, but we have yet to match any due to geographic and other challenges.
In order to make the program more attractive to potential mentors and provide new opportunities to mentees, we have recently secured funding through the Canadian Agriculture Partnership (CAP) to enhance and expand the program. We are able to provide an honorarium to mentors, which can cover up to $2,000 in support for an eight-week or longer program. All matches are subject to approval.
We have also been successful in securing travel funding for aspiring young farmers to take part in mentorship programs outside the province in cases where outside programs may offer a better match. This includes all established programs outside Newfoundland and Labrador, such as the Cattlemen’s Young Leaders Mentorship Program, International Rural Exchange, FarmLink, and others.
If you are interested in the mentorship pilot program, want to apply, or want to learn more about it, please visit the NLYFF website at www.nlyoungfarmers.ca/mentorship-pilot. To further explore the possibilities of out-of-province programs, send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Through this project, we can offer new opportunities to young farmers in the province. The NLYFF will be able to provide better opportunities and services to young agriculture entrepreneurs and professionals. It will assist us in achieving our vision of young farm leaders preserving the future of a sustainable agriculture industry and working toward food self-sufficiency.
The NLYFF is also working on lots of other great programming for new, aspiring, and existing young farmers.
This year’s NLYFF Leadership Summit takes place on Nov. 14 and 15 in St. John’s. We will once again be bringing in world-class speakers to the event, with speaker announcements coming soon. This will be the first of several workshops and events the NLYFF will host throughout the fall and winter.
Funding to carry out all these initiatives is provided by the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.
(Matthew Carlson is the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Agriculture’s young farmers coordinator. He has been with the federation since 2007 and moved into his current position in 2015.)