Take a drive out into rural Northumberland. You will see all kinds of farms. It is easy to assume most of those are family farms. Yet, the family farm is on the decline in Canada. Well over 90 percent of farms are family-owned and operated. Barely half the farms are sole proprietorships. The rest are either partnerships or corporations, according to Statistics Canada in 2016.
In a separate study, in 2017, the average age of a farmer was 55 and rising. Young people were not taking over the family farm. Believe it or not, there were more farmers over 70-years of age than under 35.
And the future is uncertain. Ninety-two percent of farms have no written plan for who will take over.
This next interview is special in several ways.
First, it is an intimate interview with Katie and Paul Burnham. You will hear Paul talk about how his children are taking over their diverse farming business. You will also hear; specifically, they have adapted to business during the pandemic.
The second thing that makes this special is my colleague Marc Cowin did the interview as part of his show Focus on Business in Northumberland. It is a five- to eight-minute feature played multiple times throughout the week. The show started in April. In this full-length interview, you will hear his reporting in greater depth. I hope you enjoy it.
Originally aired: May 7, 2021