From 2009 to 2012, MFM facilitated full and part-time internships on mentor farms, connecting 20 nterns with experienced farmers for hands on training.  Beginning in 2013, on-farm internships will be offered by the Harvest Moon Society.  Mentor profiles and more information about becoming an intern can be found are now available on the Harvest Moon Society site.  


The MFM final report is now available here.

Manitoba Farm Mentorship's goal was to reverse the depopulation trend of our rural areas by encouraging farmers to diversify, layer, and intensify their farms, and to seek locally-based networks and value-chains. We also encouraged urban farming activities and hoped to inspire a shift in how and where we source our food in the city.

Other tenets and goals of the MFM program, which are shared by the Harvest Moon Society, are:

 

  • Increasing the number of organic farmers in Manitoba, and the amount of locally grown organic food being consumed here in order to mitigate climate change, weather the energy crisis, and increase the health of local residents.
  • Increasing the number of smaller scale viable family farms with a diversity of produce and revitalizing rural Manitoba because of the decrease in farm populations, migration out of rural areas, and increased need for off-farm income as a result of the decades-long farm crisis.
  • Attracting youth to farming. The average age of farmers in Manitoba is 51 years old and less than 6% of our population is involved in farming.
  • Training new (often urban-raised) farmers who can meet rising demand. The number of family farms on the prairies has decreased drastically in recent decades, and farm-raised youth often seek off-farm employment. Increasing demand for organic/natural/local food provides new opportunities for careers in farming. There has been a recent surge of urban interest in growing food, but until now a lack of resources and training for aspiring farmers without a farm background.
  • Creating demand and new markets for local organic/sustainable producers. An increase in farmers requires a corresponding increase in demand for farm products. Current market trends continue to indicate soaring interest in local, organic, and natural foods.
  • Increasing urban farming. We need to grow more food locally for increasing numbers of city-dwellers. Cities provide beneficial microclimates suited to intensive small scale growing, and interest in urban farming activities continues to grow.


View mentor profiles or get more information by visiting the Harvest Moon Society.