Monthly Archives: August 2013

N.S. unveils new ‘buy local’ licence plate

From the Chronicle Herald August 27, 2013

It’s not uncommon for someone to notice a vehicle’s licence plates when they’re from out of province.

But it was while travelling in the United States that fruit grower David Baldwin noticed one plate that not only caught his attention but inspired him.

That plate encouraged people to buy local, and it’s something he thought might work in Nova Scotia.

“Every time someone sees the buy local licence plate on a car stopped at a traffic light or even in a parking lot, it will serve as a reminder to those not directly involved in agriculture and food production of how important it is to eat good food grown in Nova Scotia,” Baldwin said in a news release.

On Tuesday, a new licence plate featuring an image from Select Nova Scotia’s marketing campaign was unveiled. The optional plate will be issued on request at Access Nova Scotia and Registry of Motor Vehicles offices for passenger and light commercial vehicles weighing up to 5,000 kilograms.

Standard registration fees will apply in addition to a $50 donation when the plate is purchased, with the donations going to a Select Nova Scotia fund that will promote agriculture and help sponsor events supporting local products and industries.

“Raising awareness about agriculture in Nova Scotia is very important to us,” said Dennis Boudreau, president of the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture.

“Engaging Nova Scotians to support buying local and to showcase it on their licence plate is a good step forward.”

Gordon Stevens, president of the Uncommon Group and driving force behind the I Love Local HFX initiative, said he was unaware the licence plate was in the pipeline. But he said he was supportive of the move, adding that anything that promotes homegrown products is a good thing.

“It was a surprise to me, but I think it’s great,” he said in an interview. “Anything that sort of promotes the message is a good thing. And it allows people to show their support, which I think is key.”

It’s unclear how effective the campaign will be, but it might make some people more inclined to shop locally, he said.

“You might see less people pulling up into the parking lot at Costco with their buy local licence plate on,” Stevens said with a laugh.

“I hope to see lots of them on the streets.”

NSDA To Expand FarmNEXT Program

From Farm Focus August 26, 2013

The program will receive an additional $400,000 in 2014-15 to help revitalize the sector and ease the financial burden for farmers just starting out. Premier Darrell Dexter made the announcement Aug. 23, as part of the Meet Your Farmer at the Mall event in Dartmouth.

“Nova Scotia is the only province in Canada to see an increase in the number of farms since 2009,” Dexter said. “That means farmers are recognizing that Nova Scotia is a great place to build their career and a life for their families.

“This additional support will help ensure even more new and beginning farmers choose Nova Scotia, which is key to the long-term prosperity of the agriculture industry in this province.”

The FarmNEXT program supports new farms and beginning farmers by reducing borrowing costs. Farmers starting a new farm can receive up to $30,000 in benefits, while those taking over an existing operation can receive up to $20,000. Those benefits are assigned to the farmer’s loan through the Farm Loan Board.

“The province deserves credit for recognizing the need to help new farmers access land and capital,” said Owen Roberts, owner of Four Seasons Farm, a small, organic vegetable farm in Maitland. “FarmNEXT gave us a significant boost to be able to buy our farm.”

“Every opportunity to encourage new entrants and successful transition in our industry is welcome,” said NS Federation of Agriculture President Dennis Boudreau. “Availability of such funding will make it easier to have a successful farm operation and achieve financial stability and a better chance of success in the future.”

This additional support brings the total investment in the FarmNEXT program to $1 million next year.

“This program not only makes things more affordable for farmers, it also ensures they get access to the business advice they need to be successful,” said Agriculture Minister John MacDonell. “Participants receive coaching in business planning and ongoing financial advice from department staff and private sector specialists to help them run a strong and sustainable business.”

Details on the province’s FarmNEXT Program

ACORN Beginning Farmers Symposium

ACORN will hold its 2nd annual Beginner Farmer Symposium and Mixer, which is coming up this Monday, August 19th, 2013. This day is going to be jam-packed with sessions and networking opportunities for new farmers from all over the Maritimes, and it would be ideal to have some representatives from our local NSYF group. The day will wrap up with the Beginner Farmer Mixer, featuring all outdoor BBQ featuring all locally sourced food and drinks (provided by Picaroons Brewery), and live music provided by Willie Stratton and the Boarding Party.

I encourage you to review our schedule and speaker bios here and see if this may be feasible for you and/or others to attend. Full registration details can be viewed here.

Carpooling may be feasible with Becky Sooksom, Coordinator of THINKFARM.

ACORN Symposium


NSYF Contact

Nova Scotia Young Farmers’

60 Research Drive
Perennia Innovation Park
Bible Hill, Nova Scotia
B6L 2R2

Tel: (902) 893-2293
Fax: (902) 893-7063