Farming: The Next Generation

Guest blog by filmmakers Tamer Soliman & Sarah Douglas

“There are some really big questions and problems that we’re facing today – land acquisition and access to capital are huge barriers to farming – but maybe the most important one is that we don’t have enough young farmers.” – Stuart Oke,Youth President of the National Farmers Union, Canada 

These days so many people say they support local food – they’re aware of the importance of shopping at the farmers market, enjoy farm-to-table dining, and appreciate the seasonality of what they eat. But many are unaware that the agriculture industry is in the midst of a transformation that is both challenging yet promising, and offers an opportunity to revolutionize our food system. 

With an average age of 55, Canadian farmers are getting older. The next generation of farmers will shoulder the burden of Canada’s future food security – and are inheriting a system that has much room for improvement. In fact, with the imminent retirement of the old guard, many without a succession plan, we are at a pivotal crossroads in agriculture. What and how this new generation choose to farm will have huge implications on the future of food, climate, and community in Canada. 

Buying locally strengthens local economies, provides delicious and nutritious foods for consumers, preserves the surrounding landscape, and fosters a sense of community. But in order to buy local, we need to have farmers – young, ecologically-minded farmers – to feed the next generation of eaters in a socially and environmentally conscious way.

This topic is what we (filmmakersTamer Soliman & Sarah Douglas) will explore in our next film, Farming:The NextGeneration. There’s a term for supporting documentaries that mobilize movements – “filmanthropy.” By blending film and philanthropy, we hope that our project, Farming:The NextGeneration will have a lasting, positive impact. Some goals we’re hoping to achieve with this project are: 

  • Build awareness around the role that we all play in solving complex problems in our food systems.
  • Inspire consumers and organizations to take actions that support the future of healthy, sustainable food in their communities. 
  • Mobilize a movement that prioritizes sustainable and ecological farming practices. 

Follow us along on our journey of making this film. Check out our website, watch the trailer and sign up for updates. Check out our YouTube channel for initial interviews. And if you’re interested in becoming a crowdfunding supporter, there are many reward categories with fun perks like t-shirts, film posters and even film credits. We are also seeking like-minded film sponsors, and have a variety of sponsorship levels available. 

Be part of a movement to support young farmers on their mission to transform our food system into one that benefits us all!