Facilitating Farm Succession and Saving Our Rural Towns

Until I travelled, it never occurred to me that some of our farm succession problems might be derived from the fact that we live on our farms. Why should parents have to leave their home when handing over the farm?

In some countries in Europe, farmers live in communities with neighbours and have several lots of land in the surrounding area. This means then that when a farmer retires, they don’t have to move out of the family home. This makes sense. But here in Canada, we could be forced to move if we are to pass the farm on to the next generation. Likely, we might wish to delay this process!

Imagine rural Ontario if all homes were severed from farm lands? There could be more of them. Less of them would be bulldozed, rural town businesses would once again have more customers and rural schools would have more children. I live in one such home, but since it is part of the surrounding farm, I cannot own it. A couple of farms down the road, the house is gone, and a barn stands all alone. The barn will come down one day too.

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Published by Kaytlyn Creutzberg, BSc, NSch, MA

#SayItLikeItIs: In her two years of graduate work (2016-2018), Kaytlyn learned the art of bearing witness to an unheard collection of stories about human dignity. She first explored how she could apply a spiritual care therapeutic model to how farmers relate to their land. Realizing a greater cultural narrative was implicated, she then studied the impact of collective memory on cultural narratives and the pervasive "don't care" attitudinal construct towards Earth and Her landscapes. (formerly Gayl)

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