The Beatles weren’t far off when they sang the famous lyric “Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends”. This couldn’t ring truer than when one farmer helps another. It happens in so many ways in our ecological farming community, whether it’s through knowledge transfer, borrowing equipment, or helping new farmers get to a conference. 


“I just wanted to thank everyone for putting such a wonderful learning experience together at the EFAO conference!!!  So many great speakers and educational talks. Great food, new friends, positive vibes. It was the inspiration and encouragement I couldn’t get anywhere else as a newer farmer and the knowledge that I am a part of a great organization.” – 2017 bursary recipient. 


Over 60 new farmers have received bursaries over the past 5 years. 


It’s not just the necessary information that a new farmer receives during the conference that has the biggest impact its also the connections and friendships made that are just as important. 


“Overall my EFAO conference experience was a success as I was not only inspired and motivated while learning about the various workshop topics, but I made some terrific connections with people attending the conference who are successfully farming and willing to lend a hand or provide some wisdom for the early years in farming”  – 2018 bursary recipient


And this year, we’re doing it again.  The New Farmer Bursary provides a full conference pass (value of $350, includes access to all workshops and lunches on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday as well as dinner on Tuesday and Wednesday) to individuals who have been farming for less than 5 years.


To apply: please submit a letter providing a description of 1) your farming education and experience to date, 2) your farming plans or goals, and 3) how attending this conference will help you in your farming career. Note: If you have received a bursary to the conference in the past, please include some detail as to why you would like to be considered for another bursary.


Please submit your letter of no more than 500 words to by November 16th.  Recipients will be notified by November 19th. The number of bursaries available is pending donations.


Perhaps you yourself are looking for ways to encourage new farmer access to educational programs and grow the ecological agriculture community in Ontario. Or maybe you cannot make it to the conference this year but want to encourage someone else to attend?  Alternatively, you’re thinking about a season-end gift for your interns or staff. 


Consider making a contribution to the bursary fund.  $350 contributes to a full conference pass, but any amount will be gratefully received. Note: Bursaries will be designated to applicants on November 19th.


Donate here, or email to find out more.