Provincial help for slow crop season, federal help for youth in agriculture

WEST CARLETON – The province is extending a deadline for crop insurance while the feds are working on attracting youth to agriculture.

Ontario’s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Ernie Hardeman, says they will help farmers cope with the slow planting season by extending crop insurance deadlines.

Hardeman visited Lambton County last month to survey the impact of extreme rainfall through the spring.

“I have heard from many of our hardworking farmers across the agriculture sector about the challenges they have been facing from the inclement weather that has occurred throughout the province,” Hardeman said at the time. “We have been working with them to find solutions that will help farmers cope with the slow planting season by extending crop insurance deadlines and providing them information on production insurance assistance to farmers experiencing crop losses.”

Farmers who are experiencing problems are encouraged to contact Agricorp at 1-888-247-4999. For advice on best management practices for planting and crop management, farmers can contact the Agriculture Information Contact Centre at 1-877-424-1300.

Meanwhile the federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Marie-Claude Bibeau announced a new investment of up to $3.75 million designed to help bring youth into the agriculture industry.

The Youth Employment and Skills Program will provide funding to employers in agriculture to hire Canadian youth, aged 15 to 30.

It aims to create opportunities for Canadian youth, particularly youth facing barriers to entering or staying in the workforce, to explore employment in the agriculture and agri-food sector and to better prepare themselves for the labour market.

The new program will provide 50 per cent of funds, up to $14,000 towards costs associated with hiring youth. For not-for-profit organizations, and applicants who hire Indigenous youth or youth facing barriers, the program will provide 80 per cent of total eligible costs, up to $14,000.