For the first time ever the Young Agrarians will be inviting agricultural workers from across the Northern Secwempec Territories for the Williams Lake Mixer at Thompson Rivers University.
The group’s first Central B.C. mixer, the event is geared and marketed towards young farmers and business owners in the agricultural sector that operate in and around the Cariboo-Chilcotin. Hosted at the TRU Campus from Feb. 9 to Feb. 10, the mixer will consist of two full days of workshops and sessions designed to sharpen participants farming and business skills.
While taking them, Young Agrarians encourage new farmers to socialize and network with one another. The two streams of content will not only kick-start the new farmers but enhance the existing knowledge and skills of the more seasoned farm hands. Subjects of the workshops will include crop planting, soil productivity, integrating livestock and crops, cooperative development, land leasing, succession/transition planning as well as health, business and financial management.
One of the mixer’s main focuses is to address two issues; land access young farmers face and succession many established farmers run into when it comes time to pass the land on to a new generation.
At the Williams Lake Mixer, the inner workings of land access arrangements, including regulations, lease models, considerations and the like, will be studied as will talks about true farm succession and the makings of a solid transition plan.
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“When it comes to passing the farm on, we hear from many farmers who aren’t sure how to take the first step, whether they’re looking at family succession, leasing land, or an alternative transition model - and that first step, before the accountants and lawyers and everything else, is the most important. The Williams Lake Mixer is a great opportunity to connect with folk who have been where you are and gain insight into what your first step towards transition will be,” said Darcy Smith, the Young Agrarians B.C. Land Program Manager.
The event is open to the general public and the Young Agrarians say it will be of interest to anyone with a desire to protect local food systems including farmers, ranchers, homesteaders, gardeners and consumers.
Saturday night they’ll also be hosting a community potluck and a farmer slideshow for the whole community, not just those attending the mixer. The doors open from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The only requirement to enter is to bring a dish of your own to share.
During and after the dinner farmers will have a chance to come up to share their own experience and knowledge they’ve gained in their lives with the group.
“Come winter, I always look forward to the Young Agrarians Mixer. After a busy season, I find they’re a great way to reconnect with other farmers and to feel re-inspired about farming. They are very informative, fun, and a great way to keep up to date on farming education during the offseason,” said rancher Robin Hunt, of Big Rock Ranch.
The cost to sign up for the weekend is on a sliding scale of anywhere between $50 to $100 under a “pay what you can” mentality.
Admission is also available via trade of volunteer work, for more info contact email@example.com.