Quebec groups offering ag training program and grants for farmers under 40
By Top Crop Manager
Sollio Co-operative Group, Fédération de la relève agricole du Québec (FRAQ), and Desjardins Group are joining forces on the program Springboard for Agricultural Youth. This training and networking program offers tools and financial support to farmers aged 40 and under who want to start a new farm or take over an existing farm.
In addition to targeted support and training, this program will offer 20 young farmers a $15,000 start-up grant. The program lasts just over a year, and also receives support from the Fonds coopératif d’aide à la relève agricole (FCARA), a fund administered by the project’s three key partners. It helps give young farmers a leg up in the industry and guides them toward future success. It also addresses the challenge of ensuring successful business transitions, an issue of particular concern for the agricultural industry.
“This is quite an important issue for Sollio Co-operative Group right now. Very few farms can count on being handed off, and young farmers are struggling to get land. Springboard for Agricultural Youth will help equip and inspire them to establish new farms or take over the farms they already work for,” said Muriel Dubois, president of FCARA and first vice-president of the board at Sollio Co-operative Group.
“We need to support and sustain young people who hope to take over or start up an agriculture business, and make sure the next generation has a foothold in this high-priority industry,” said Sylvain Morel, Desjardins Group vice-president, agriculture and agri-food markets.
FRAQ echoes the sentiment, as the program is very much aligned with its mission of helping people establish themselves in the agriculture industry and promoting the profession. “Establishing a business is an important step for the next generation of farmers. FRAQ is proud to partner with the co-operative in providing access to high-quality training,” said Pier-Luc Hervieux, FRAQ first vice-president.
As part of Springboard for Agricultural Youth, the Desjardins Group is also promoting the L’ARTERRE service offered by CRAAQ (Quebec Reference Centre for Agriculture and Agri-Food). L’Arterre is a matching service for aspiring farmers, farm owners and landowners, which helps create succession plans for farms that have no one lined up to take over to help support and sustain the future of Quebec agriculture. CRAAQ will receive $50,000 to support its mission of knowledge sharing and helping farmers.
“CRAAQ is proud to collaborate on Springboard for Young Farmers. The grant from Desjardins Group and its partners will help provide aspiring L’Arterre farmers with access to the tools and contacts they need to launch a business,” said Louis Dionne, general director of CRAAQ.
United in their enthusiasm for supporting young entrepreneurs, the project’s partners are delighted to create a program that helps ensure a prosperous future. To learn more about Springboard for Agricultural Youth and to register for the program, visit sollio.coop/springboard.