Horwath pledges to grow Ontario by investing in young farmers

New Democrats will make it easier for young people to choose a career in farming, says Andrea Horwath. The NDP leader outlined plans to build Ontario’s food industry while participating in the International Ploughing Match in Prescott-Russell.

“The number of farmers across Ontario is falling. If we are going to have a sustainable, local food production industry we need to do more to make farming a viable and attractive career option for young people,” said Horwath. “We need to change the way we do things so young people don’t have to move to a city to make a living.”

Increased food imports and fewer new farmers pose a real threat to food production in Ontario. Despite an increasing demand for local food, the province imports $4 billion more in food than it exports. Fewer Ontarians choose farming as a career, and the average age of farmers in Ontario is 12 years older than in other professions.

“New Democrats will make sure our food production system is not only safe and sustainable, but also provides opportunity to a new generation of farmers,” said Horwath.

New Democrats will make it easier for young people to pursue careers in farming by:

  • creating a new apprenticeship program for young people to develop skills they need for a successful farming career;
  • working with farmer organizations to support succession planning of farms between generations; and
  • providing rural employers with a training tax credit to help them train employees for a future in agriculture.

“The work you do benefits us all,” said Horwath. “You work all hours to put fresh, nutritious food on our dinner tables and go beyond the call of duty to build a green, prosperous province.”

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