New and Beginning Farmers
New entrants to agriculture face significant barriers. The rising cost of agricultural land and inputs makes it increasingly difficult to start a farm. From 2011 to 2016, the total number of B.C. food producers fell from approximately 29,000 to 26,000, and the average age of farmers, ranches and processors rose to 56 years old. Despite these trends, the number of B.C. food producers under the age of 35 increased by 205 to 1,825. New entrants, from diverse backgrounds, are entering the agricultural and agrifood sector across the province, bringing new ideas, skills, and capital that are helping invigorate and promote growth in the industry. Access to land, knowledge and capital are needed to establish and grow B.C. agricultural and agrifood businesses.
The Ministry has been developing resources for beginning and young farmers. Specifically for this project the New Entrant Strategy and the New Entrants Needs Assessment can provide additional background to help you form your comments.
The Ministry of Agriculture provides information to help people operate farm and/or food processing businesses. Agrifood Business Management provides resources and information to help implement best practices for business growth, whether you are interested in starting a new farm, improving your existing farm or building your food processing business. First steps involve business planning, determining market opportunities and networking to find the knowledge, expertise and resources required. Further information is available on the ministry web site: