Press Release: Young Agrarians Land Linking Workshop Nov. 24

Young Agrarians Land Linking Workshop & Community Potluck Brings Vancouver Island Farmers and Landowners Together

(Cobble Hill, BC): Are you a farmer looking for land? Are you a landowner looking for farmers? Join us to network, talk farm leases, and learn about how the B.C. Land Matching Program connects landowners with farmers on South Vancouver Island!

On Saturday, November 24th, 2018, Young Agrarians will host a Vancouver Island Land Linking Workshop & Community Potluck in Cobble Hill.
The Land Linking Workshop will be held from 1pm – 6pm at the Cobble Hill Farmers Institute Hall, at 3550 Watson Ave, Cobble Hill, B.C. Following the workshop, the community is invited to a potluck from 6pm – 9pm. All are welcome. For more information and to register for this free event, visit http://youngagrarians.org/landlinkcobblehill2018/ or call: 250-413-7560.
Land Linking events combine a practical workshop on the ins and outs of alternative land access arrangements, outlining options such as leasing and licensing land, with networking to connect landowners and land seekers. Landowners across Vancouver Island who are interested in leasing land for farming, and new and young farmers who are looking for land opportunities to establish farm businesses are encouraged to come learn and connect.
“Our goal is to create opportunities for people with land and people looking for land to connect with each other,” says Young Agrarians Land Matcher Darcy Smith. “The Land Linking Workshop is an avenue for us to share important resources, like our B.C. Land Access Guide, educate farmers and landowners about land agreements, and raise awareness about the B.C. Land Matching Program.”
In the Cowichan Valley and South Vancouver Island, Young Agrarians is offering hands-on, personalized matchmaking services, access to land opportunities and qualified farmers, support to draw up legal land agreements, and educational information about regulations and tools through the B.C. Land Matching Program.

Why Land Link?
Access to land is a significant challenge facing aspiring farmers in B.C. As land prices on Southern Vancouver Island climb, reaching up to $100,000 per acre on Vancouver Island, according to the 2017 Farmland Values report from Farm Credit Canada, the lack of affordable land for purchase can make the goal of starting a farm business and establishing a career in farming seem unattainable to many looking to enter the industry. Meanwhile, many farms are sitting underused by landowners who don’t farm themselves. Sixty-six percent of farmers plan to retire in the next 10 years, almost half whom don’t have a succession plan, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.

Leasing farmland to the next generation of farmers is an innovative solution to this gap in access. Ariella Falkowski of Sweet Acres Farm in Langford farms on leased land, an opportunity she found out about through a Young Agrarians event. Ariella recognizes the value of this unconventional approach to land access. “With land prices on Vancouver Island being far beyond the reach of most beginning farmers, land leasing is often the only feasible way for a farmer to get started,” Falkowski says. “An added benefit is that this keeps valuable farmland from development, as it is being used to produce food for our local communities.”

Supporting young farmers in accessing land through non-traditional approaches such as leasing land is an excellent way to ensure the next generation of farmers is able to establish productive farm operations, strengthening the island’s economy and ensuring the future of B.C.’s local food production.
For more information about the B.C. Land Matching program, visit youngagrarians.org/land.
Event: Young Agrarians Land Linking Workshop & Community Potluck
When: 1pm – 9pm, Saturday, November 24th, 2018
Where: Cobble Hill Farmers Institute Hall, 3550 Watson Ave, Cobble Hill, B.C
Contact: Azja Jones Martin, Cowichan Valley-Vancouver Island Land Matcher
Tel: 250-413-7560
Email: azja@youngagrarians.org

The B.C. Land Matching Program is funded on Vancouver Island by the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture and Cowichan Valley Regional District. Thank you to Cowichan Green Community for providing in-kind program support and helping make this event possible through the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program.
About Young Agrarians: Young Agrarians is a grassroots farmer to farmer resource network. Since 2012, Young Agrarians has offered programs that support new and young farmers with limited access to resources as they make the journey into ecological agriculture in Canada. With a start-up focus in British Columbia as a program partnership with FarmFolk CityFolk Society, and in Alberta with Organic Alberta, Young Agrarians programs support access to lands, provide business services, on-farm apprenticeships, community building educational events, and online resources. To date, in B.C., Young Agrarians has served 70 farmer mentees representing 45 new farms through our business mentorship program. 11 land matches have been made through our pilot land matching program, which has now scaled across Southern B.C. 16 apprentices have gone through the Alberta program including 13 host farms. We have conducted 200+ educational events across Canada, with approximately 9,000 participants representing 4,500 volunteer farmer hours. In addition, we have a growing social media following (27,650 across channels) and a steady monthly blog readership (average views minimum 10,000/month). Youngagrarians.org
Media Contact:
Darcy Smith, Young Agrarians B.C. Land Program Manager
land@youngagrarians.org | 778.960.2018
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Facebook | Young Agrarians Twitter | @youngagrarians Instagram | @youngagrarians

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