Ensuring the Future of Farming: Cultivating Tomorrow’s Leaders in Sustainable Agriculture

In a world where the climate is constantly changing and the demands on our agricultural systems are increasing, supporting the next generation of farmers and horticulturists is more crucial than ever. Our organization is dedicated to empowering deserving Canadian students through education bursaries, helping them achieve their academic dreams and prepare for careers that will shape the future of sustainable agriculture.

Agricultural Landscape—Urgent Needs

The landscape of Canadian agriculture is at a critical juncture. By 2033, 40% of Canadian farm operators are expected to retire, creating an unprecedented transition in labor and leadership within the industry. During this period, it is anticipated that there will be a shortfall of 24,000 workers in general farming, nursery, and greenhouse roles. Alarmingly, 66% of producers lack a succession plan, putting the future of farmland in jeopardy. At a time when agriculture needs to evolve with skills in data analytics and climate-smart practices, the need for a well-educated and innovative workforce has never been more urgent.

Cultivating Knowledge and Skills

Our bursary recipients are enrolled in programs that are pivotal to the future of sustainable agriculture. These programs include:

  • Horticulture – Food and Farming: Students learn to lead in the food sector, creating locally produced food and engaging in agri-tourism, which connects urban residents with farming.
  • Bachelor of Science in Land & Food Systems’ Food and the Environment: This program teaches students to produce food sustainably, managing biodiversity and urban food production to shape a secure food future.
  • Bachelor of Applied Science in Sustainable Agriculture: Offering a mix of classroom and farm-based learning, this program prepares students for diverse careers in sustainable agriculture, focusing on agro-ecosystem design, ecologically sound crop production, and sustainable farm business management.

Inspiring Stories of Impact

Our bursary recipients are not just students; they are passionate individuals committed to community service and environmental stewardship. 

  • 100% either completed or are in their current program
  • 100% of the bursary recipients had a GPA of 4 (excellent) with 40% of them had a GPA of above 4 (exceptional)
  • 25% were male, 75% were females 
  • 100% of the recipients volunteered or performed community service 
  • 100% of the recipients want to be in touch with the Foundation

Our bursary recipients are more than deserving of the Foundation’s support because they are committed, brilliant, diverse, community-driven, engaged and grateful. 

Here are some words from our bursary recipients: 

Raechel Woodrow, a graduate of the Horticulture Program from Durham College, is committed to her academic studies and the agricultural sector. 

“I am actively engaged in various community service and volunteer activities. I was a guest speaker on a panel for the Skills Ontario Young Women’s Career Exploration virtual event in 2022. Additionally, I have volunteered to help or lead workshops such as “Taste of the Trades,” where we provide high school students with a tour of the college and conduct workshops in various stations. Specifically, I have assisted in the culinary workshop making butter and in the planting workshop planting microgreens with the students.” 

For more in Raechel’s story, click here: https://tinyurl.com/4ab96869

Carla Hick, a graduate of University of British Columbia’s BSc Applied Biology in Food and Environment volunteers with a Seed Library, contributing to the preservation of biodiversity.

These bursaries have a profound impact on our recipients.

“This bursary helped me a lot and improved my financial situation tremendously. It was my first year at university after transferring from a college, and I was struggling with the transition. The courses were challenging and I was under the stress of how to juggle between focusing on my study and managing to afford the living expenses, tuition, textbook supplies, etc. Because of this bursary, my anxiety has lessened and I was able to focus on the study so much better rather than constantly worrying how to afford the tuition. I was able to achieve good academic standing as a result. I am so grateful for becoming a recipient of this bursary. Thank you so much!” – MW, a current student of BSc Applied Biology, Food and Environment, University of British Columbia

“The Plant a seed foundation bursary award, along with other bursaries and scholarships I received, allowed me to graduate debt free.  As an aspiring farmer, I would like to eventually own at least a small parcel of land. Given the current land price climate, many people believe owning land is no longer possible. I feel optimistic though because graduating without debt takes me closer to that goal.” –Alexander Stark, a graduate of Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s BASc Sustainable Agriculture. 

A Call to Action—World Environment Day

As we celebrate World Environment Day, it is a reminder of the pressing need for environmental stewardship. According to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, up to 40% of the planet’s land is degraded, affecting half of the world’s population and threatening global GDP. The theme for 2024, land restoration, desertification and drought resilience underscore the importance of ecosystem restoration, a cause closely aligned with our mission.

To ensure a sustainable future for agriculture, we must invest in education and support for the next generation of farmers and horticulturists. Your support can help us provide more bursaries, enabling students to pursue their passion for sustainable agriculture and contribute to a food-secure future.

Donate today and be a part of this transformative journey.

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  1. Canadian Agricultural Human Resource Council. (2020). Agriculture Labour Market Information.
  2. Statistics Canada. (2021). Census of Agriculture.
  3. Before – United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification. (2021). Global Land Outlook.
  4. United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification. (2021). Global Land Outlook.

Earth Day 2021 Livestreams

Our videos with Mark Cullen and Brian Minter

Growing Mindful Children

Our Video clip from the 2020 Celebration of Greath Health (9 min)


Sponsors &

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