Young Farmers Unite!

It’s the last Friday in July, and I’m in the mood for a little fun.  But first – a bit of serious stuff!

I recently read an article entitled ‘Where have Canada’s young farmers gone‘ that lamented the lack of young people choosing farming as a career.  Twenty years ago, 20% of farmers in Canada were under 35 years old, and now the percentage has dropped to just over 8%.  The author of the article ends with a poignant callout to all of us who appreciate the young people that do choose to farm:  “Next time you see young farmers, tell them you appreciate their life choice to farm. You might even ask what will help them to continue. It will be worth listening. I challenge you to act on what they suggest.”

Nova Scotia’s average of young farmers is actually a little higher than the national average, but buying and operating a farm is still is an incredibly intimidating and expensive venture to undertake.  Here in Nova Scotia there are a lot of programs to help support younger people get established in agriculture.  The Nova Scotia Young Farmers Forum is a project of the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture to try to build capacity among young farmers and build a network of support to help new farmers.    (For more information, you can check out their Facebook page here and their website here.) Thinkfarm is another initiative by the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture that is designed to encourage new farmers in our province.

So despite the downward national trend in young farmers, there is still a bit of hope.  Therefore, in the optimistic spirit of a beautiful Friday ( – remember, rain right now is absolutely beautiful for farmers!) I present to you the products of a new internet trend: farm-themed pop song parodies.  If you’ve been anywhere near a radio in the past year, you will have heard the original version of these songs (especially if there’s a pre-teen in the house) but even if you haven’t, these little video parodies show a real love of farming and farm life.  As silly as these videos are, I feel that it’s pretty awesome that there still are young farmers across the continent are still so happy to be doing what they’re doing.

Here’s Lil Fred, a farm kid growing up on a dairy farm somewhere in the states who used a Carly Rae Jepson’s song, ‘Call Me, Maybe” and transformed it into ‘Farm It, Maybe’.  With lyrics like “Hey I just milked you/This cow is crazy/But here’s her udder/So milk her, maybe”, this kid is a farming poet.

Check out the video below if you dare:

Apparently Fred was inspired by another farm-tinged parody of another annoyingly popular pop song:  LMFAO’s ‘I’m Sexy and I Know It’ got turned into ‘I’m a Farmer and I Grow It’ by the Pederson brothers from Kansas.  These are your typical all-American farm boys growing up on a big grain farm, and you can tell they’re pretty proud of their big machinery!

Check out their video below:

So have a good weekend, and if you make it out to a raspberry or blueberry u-pick, (they’re in season early this year!)  make sure you let young farmers know you appreciate them!

And if you’re a young farmer yourself, next Monday on July 30, THINKFARM, Agrapoint, Rural Delivery, and the Nova Scotia Agricultural College are putting on a Celebration of Small Scale Farming in Pictou which includes lots of useful workshops.  (Check out the website for more details, and register soon if you’re interested in attending – because registration ends today!)

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