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New foundation will support students entering agriculture programs
A new national foundation is being launched to promote post-secondary agricultural education to Canadian high school students.
The Canadian Agri-Business Education Foundation (CABEF) will award six $2,500 scholarships annually to students enrolling in a post-secondary agricultural degree or diploma program. Larry Hertz, President of CABEF, says the scholarship program is designed to help lead graduates to good jobs and fill the employment gap in the agri-food sector. “Three jobs are waiting for every agricultural graduate,” he says. “The sector needs to increase its talent pool, and we’re contributing with this scholarship program to help high school students make agriculture their career choice.”
The scholarships will be awarded in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec – with an additional scholarship available for students from other provinces or territories. Applicants will be considered on academic standing, past and current leadership attributes, and on an essay entitled “Why I am pursuing a career in agriculture.” This scholarship program mirrors a successful initiative in the US called the Agri-Business Educational Foundation (ABEF), whose goal is to assist students interested in a career in agriculture.
“Our US counterparts have seen this program make a big difference there,” says Hertz. “We’re looking forward to similar success in Canada.” CABEF and the Canadian scholarship program was officially launched at the Best of CAMA, the Canadian Agri-Marketing Association annual awards, in Quebec City in November.
CABEF is a registered charity. Besides Hertz (AdFarm), CABEF’s officers include Vice President Jennifer Christie (John Deere), Executive Director Mary Thornley of Mary Thornley Management, and directors Rod Delahey (The Marketing Den), Justin Funk (Agri Studies), Daniel Lamoureux (La Terre de chez nous), and Rod Merryweather (FP Genetics). •
FCC extends Young Farmer Loan program
Farm Credit Canada (FCC) has extended its loan program designed to help young farmers purchase or improve farmland and buildings.
“Young people are seeing a bright future in agriculture and we share that vision,” said FCC President and CEO Greg Stewart. “We listen to our customers and are committed to developing products and services tailored to young farmers and the unique needs of the agriculture industry.”
Launched in March 2012, the Young Farmer Loan Program offers qualified producers who are under 40 years of age loans of up to $500,000 to purchase or improve farmland and buildings. The loan includes features and options that address this demographic and support their long-term success, including variable rates at prime plus 0.5%, a special fixed rate and no loan processing fees.
FCC has approved more than $500 million in loans since the program was announced, and is now doubling its commitment to $1 billion for lending to young farmers.
The Young Farmer Loan enhances FCC’s suite of existing products and services that support young producers, such as the FCC Transition Loan, FCC Ag Knowledge Exchange events, FCC Publications, FCC on Campus, and FCC Management Software for both accounting and field management. In 2012-13, FCC approved $2.3 billion in financing to farmers under age 40, contributing to record disbursements of $7.7 billion to help customers expand or start their operations.
More information on the FCC’s Young Farmer Loan can be found at www.fcc.ca/ youngfarmerloan or by calling 1-888-332-3301. •