Young Agrarian Culture in Nova Scotia: The Initial and Ongoing Motivations for Young Farmers from Non-Agricultural Backgrounds
MetadataShow full item record
For Nova Scotia, a province historically characterized by rural communities and family farms, the overhaul of Canadian agriculture to an industrial production model has had major ramifications. Farmers are an aging and shrinking demographic. There is growing support for an alternative food system, focused on re-establishing local capacity for food production. Despite financial constraints, a new generation of young people are pursuing farming in Nova Scotia. This study interviewed eight such individuals from non-farming backgrounds to determine their motivations. Participants described fulfillment attained through a farming lifestyle, including a sense of emotional, personal and social wellbeing. Farming as a livelihood was acknowledged as a risky business decision, requiring several years to become securely established. Having a thriving peer network of farmers and direct marketing to customers were viewed as essential for surviving the early years. Economic viability remains the greatest challenge, and further studies are needed to discuss opportunities for income generation in small-scale farming, to support a sustainable agriculture sector in Nova Scotia.