The most recent Census of Canadian Agriculture (conducted in 2016 – https://bit.ly/2WDqadp) paints a picture of the Canadian farming landscape that we have become quite familiar with:
All of which points to a looming farm succession crisis, or at the very least a significant challenge for today’s farm owners. For the first time ever, the 2016 Census took a look at the state of succession planning in Canadian agriculture, and it’s not good. Only 5.7% of sole proprietorship and partnerships having a written succession plan, compared with 16.3% of family and non-family corporations.
So what does this mean for the groups poised to ‘take over the farm’: Gen Xers (born between 1965-1980), Millennials (born 1981-1996) and even Gen Z (typically portrayed as those having birth dates between 1995 and 2010)? And are those of us who supply inputs and other goods and services to this evolving sector ready to adapt?
In 2016, Agri Studies Inc. conducted a study titled “Navigating the Decision-Making Dynamics of Multi-Generational Farms”. The study provides some key insights into the challenges facing Canada’s farming future, and the mindset of today’s operators towards succession, ownership transfer and working together in a multi-generational framework.
The study identified that over half of commercial operations in Canada are indeed multi-generational, defined as a farm with two or more generations working together. The authors also identified two distinct ‘generations’ – an older generation, with an average age of 60, and a younger generation, average age 33.
There are a number of key insights of particular significance to agri-marketers:
As agri-marketers, it’s critical to be aware of these trends, and to think of creative new ways to serve the evolving, transitioning farm marketplace. The future of Canadian farming appears to be in good hands – but the old ways of thinking and doing business will likely not serve Gen Next well. Are we also ready to evolve, transition and keep up?!
The 22nd edition of Food Day Canada is slated for August 3, 2019. An interesting trend to watch during this year’s celebration is the emergence of more and more niche Canadian food products, many with specific health, lifestyle and performance benefits. And notice how many of these innovations are being driven by smaller, entrepreneurial farm … Read More
In the 2019 Nourish Network Trend Report, we covered three trends/shifts that we believed would impact the Canadian agricultural sector this year and into the future – Canada’s international agri-food industry, precision agriculture, and the public’s trust of Canadian agriculture. As we head into 2020, we’re following up on how these trends are playing out. … Read More
In the 2020 Nourish Trend Report we examined three “smaller” trends in Canadian agriculture. The trend to serve more local food in public institutions. The urban food movement – that’s finding innovative ways to bring local food right to where the consuming public is. And the trend of increasing consumer interest and engagement with modern … Read More