Canada’s agriculture sector is in the midst of a number of changes, from automation to sustainability to shifting demographics. The Globe and Mail hosted the second event in its Future of Farming series on February 25 to provide a forum for discussion on what these changes mean.
Missed the live event or would like to watch it again? See the full recording here.
Rita Trichur, senior business writer and columnist with The Globe and Mail, moderated the event and began with a discussion on labour trends with Debra Hauer, manager of AgriLMI with the Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council in Ottawa. Ms. Hauer provided data on farm ownership in Canada and the labour shortfall, along with a forecast for the sector in relation to human resources and the adoption of technology.
A panel of farmers and food security advocates representing different facets of agriculture in Canada followed the interview. The group included:
Lesley Kelly, a farmer in Watrous, Saskatchewan who made the decision to return to her family’s 7,000-acre farm, producing canola, lentils, wheat and seed. Ms. Kelly is also an advocate for farming and works to raise awareness of mental health in agriculture.
Steve Jones, president and CEO of Local Leaf Farms in Barrie, Ont. Mr. Jones is focused on expanding vertical farms, which allow food to be grown indoors and without soil. He described how vertical farms use a hyper-local, low carbon approach to food production.
Leticia Ama Deawuo, executive director (on leave) with Black Creek Community Farm, Toronto’s largest urban farm. The farm provides opportunities for the community, youth and educators to get involved in agriculture and to increase food security.
Will Bergmann, a third-generation farmer and restaurateur near Winnipeg, who recently increased his share of his family farm. Mr. Bergmann uses social media and other strategies to connect consumers with farming and the food system.