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?!
“They shaved the freaking barley!” That was the opening of a call I received from an industry colleague in early 2007. She was the Canadian communications manager for one of the major global crop protection companies, and was in the middle of a photo shoot for a cereal herbicide. The problem? The creative director of … 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
Two new facilities and a combined $147 million investment will position growers in Western Canada to take advantage of new markets Hemp’s potential as a viable cash crop just got a big boost. Two new processing facilities, backed by a significant investment from the Alberta government, will support hemp as a valuable new cash crop … Read More