Powell River farmers from Lund to Saltery Bay and Texada Island are having trouble keeping up with the demand for their products. The Powell River Living publication Home Grown reports that thanks to a growing local food movement in Powell River, “the need for more farmers becomes more apparent”. The number of registered farms with the Regional District has jumped from 2 to 83 in just over 10 years. If food production in Powell River is poised to grow, then more work in the fields and seas could be in our future.
This is welcome news when you consider some of the latest demographics for the sector. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business says nearly 70% of Canada’s farmers plan to retire in the next 10 years. Furthermore, the 2011 Statistics Canada Census of Agriculture reports that farm operators under the age of 35 represented only 8.2% of the total in 2011, which is less than half the proportion of 19.9% two decades earlier.
Attracting new entrepreneurs and transferring existing farms to the next generation of producers is an important issue facing some of the 19,759 farms operating in BC including those in Powell River. Among those tackling this issue are the Powell River Regional Economic Development Society and the Powell River Farmer’s Institute. Their initiatives include: recruiting new farmers to our area, devising financial supports to help farmers get into business, identifying the inventory of underutilized or unutilized land that could be brought into agricultural production, and creating a database to match potential buyers or lessees with available farm lands.
To see where food is growing and work may be available in Powell River, check out this map . Powell River Direct’s Business Directory is a good resource too; especially for locating meat and seafood suppliers. When researching the field, don’t leave out visiting local food events, markets and online networks like the Powell River Food Security Project. Our local food producers are largely self-employed entrepreneurs who hire seasonally. These jobs are best found through networking and are occasionally advertised locally. Larger seafood producers do advertise year round seeking full-time workers. Jobs include: labourers, product packers, technicians and deck hands.
At Career Link we have Employment Counsellors, resources in our drop-in Career Lab and contact information to help you find work in this industry or any that interest you. There are lots of ways to get started with your job search, to learn more: give us a call, drop by the office or attend the next Career Link Info Session. Try it! It’s Easy and Free!