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Bootcamp program for first-generation farmers

Bootcamp program for first-generation farmers

The program covers 10 topics over 10 weeks

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

An industry organization has developed a program to help first-generation producers navigate the challenges that come with getting a farming enterprise off the ground.

Young Agrarians launched the Business Bootcamp for New Farmers after listening to feedback from young people enrolled in the organization’s apprenticeship program, which matches people interested in agriculture with farmers across the Prairies.

“We were finding that people coming out of the apprenticeship program had this eagerness to start farming but didn’t know where to begin,” Alex Pulwicki, e-learning coordinator for Young Agrarians, told “We developed this bootcamp to help people who are passionate about agriculture write down a game plan to make their farming dreams come true.”

The online bootcamp has a sliding scale cost between $249 and $349. It covers 10 topics over 10 weeks like risk management, branding and logistics.

Pulwicki facilitates the program while guest speakers from across the Prairies are brought in to tell their stories about starting their own farm businesses.

Providing such a comprehensive course gives new farmers a starting point when developing a farm business plan, Pulwicki said.

“Everybody wants farmers to succeed but in order for them to succeed they have to be able to make a living off their farms,” she said. “This course is meant to help people navigate rules and regulations about business structure and taxes, and support them as they explore ways to make their business align with values and being financially sustainable.”

The program is open to anyone who wishes to enroll. The February program, for example, has participants from Australia and the U.S.

The February course is already full but Young Agrarians plans to offer another bootcamp in the fall because of how much interest it garnered.

The enthusiasm around the course means today’s young people are ready to become tomorrow’s ag advocates, Pulwicki said.

“People in the Young Agrarians network are coming to the program for different reasons,” she said. “Farming is a very tangible way to realize a lot of the values people have and start working towards reversing the negative things we hear in the news.”

Anyone interested in learning more about the program can email Pulwicki.

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