MOOSE CREEK – Having a thorough understanding of the agriculture industry is usually the result of growing up on a farm. While the business side of agriculture often seems like a mystery to urban folks, even many people in rural communities are unaware of what actually goes on behind the scenes.
Wanna Make It Farm has come up with an unusual but interesting way to help share agricultural information, knowledge and hopefully enthusiasm for farming with younger people. The farm is hosting an event called the 1-Acre Challenge. The year-long challenge was designed to help young entrepreneurs explore ag-business without the typical barriers to entry like buying land and machinery. Erin Leduc, farm owner, said, “There are certainly some high caliber youth in our communities that have great ideas but unfortunately they never get the chance to turn those ideas into reality; we want to help get those ideas off the ground.”
Not only will the participants have the opportunity to develop their business skills and make real money, they will also be competing for a prize of $10,000 toward their post-secondary education.
“Young people that didn’t grow up on a farm often feel like they can’t break into agriculture and we want to change that. We want to help prove that the ag-space can provide great opportunities for entrepreneurial minded youth, regardless if they have a farm background or not.” said Alain Leduc, Wanna Make It Farms founder. The idea behind the challenge is to find the most sustainable, unique, and profitable use of farmland. The farm has allocated one acre along McNeil Road in Moose Creek for the Challenge, where the four individuals or teams will each be allocated ¼ of an acre to use.
Wanna Make It Farm supplies the land at no cost, and will assist with funding some of the start up costs. Like a standard farm loan, the proceeds from the business will be used to pay back the amount borrowed for start-up costs and the rest is profit for the participant. The individual or team with the most sustainable, unique, and profitable use of farmland will be granted the $10,000 prize. Applications are being accepted from Nov. 1 – Dec. 1. Anyone from 13-18 years of age who lives in Eastern Ontario and has access to transportation to and from Moose Creek, Ont. can apply. You can also apply as an individual or as a team. The application process takes place online. More information can be found at www.wannamakeitfarm.com, 1acrechallenge.ca, or on Wanna Make It Farms’ Facebook page.
Joseph Morin is the Editor of the Eastern Ontario AgriNews, and the Record. He is, despite years of practice, determined to eventually play the guitar properly. He has served the Eastern Ontario community as a news editor, and journalist for the past 25 years with the Iroquois Chieftain, Kemptville Advance, West Carleton Review, and Ottawa Carleton Review in Manotick. He has never met a book he did not like.