I’m Riley. My wife Chantal and I are new entrants. We started with a small flock of sheep in 2010 just outside of Fredericton and quickly outgrew our space. In 2015 we moved to Summerfield to expand our operations. Currently we raise sheep and supply a loyal following of customers with fresh eggs. In 2016 we added a small herd of cows to diversify our farm and utilize available farm ground and feed.
Only seven years in, we are all too familiar with the challenges to getting started in agriculture. Financing and revenue both usually seem to be in short supply. We continue to try to strike the balance with the need for off-farm income with time to actually farm; to access affordable land in reasonable proximity to our off-farm jobs and customer base; to the bureaucratic nightmare of paper work to make sure all our farm systems and set up are in compliance with current regulations.
The NFU is an organization that has welcomed me with open arms, offered me a forum to share my concerns with fellow board members as well as in government consultations on issues that directly affect new farmers and that make it increasingly difficult to get started in agriculture. I am an NFU member because I believe in the importance of organizations to represent the interests of producers of all sizes and to ensure healthy and sustainable rural communities.