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How leadership programs set young farmers up for success

Reference: FCC

Canadian agriculture is changing. Each year, more young people are moving into leadership positions on the farm, at agribusinesses or both.

There’s much to learn in either setting, so how can young farmers expand their leadership skills so they can be successful? The answer is simple: In many ways.

An increasing number of agricultural leadership programs are popping up across the country, and the offerings for 20-somethings have never been richer.

Leadership and connections
Originally from a beef operation in Lorne Valley, P.E.I. Ellen Crane applied and was accepted into the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association leadership program, appropriately titled the Cattlemen’s Young Leaders Mentorship Program. As a 26-year-old, she knew a good deal about Maritime beef protocols and procedures but wanted to learn more about the industry nationally.

At one of the initial meetings, she was told the program “would open doors you didn’t even know existed.”

“That was definitely the case for me,” says Crane, now 30.

Crane was paired with John Baker of the Ontario Corn Fed Beef program. Throughout the program’s one-year timeline, Crane gleaned as much as she could from Baker and others she met through him.

“I built up this network of individuals that I’ve been able to reach back to, connect with and that helped me with my first job at the Maritime Beef Council,” says Crane, who today works in Truro, N.S. as an extension co-ordinator for the Beef Cattle Research Council.

Crane was also surprised by how much she learned about national and international beef dealings, thanks to Baker and other program members... Read More