Katherine Doyle

NSYF Annual Meeting & Farm Transition Panel

This year we’re going virtual! We are excited to announce that in conjunction with our AGM, we will be hosting a Farm Transition Panel!

When: Wednesday, December 2

Time: AGM begins @ 7:00pm, panel kicks off @ 7:30pm

It is expected that in the next ten years $50 billion in Canadian farm assets are to be transferred to the next generation or out of the industry. A 2019 survey indicated that only 16% of the farms have a written plan outlining how their transition will take place. With the transition of a farm operation being a journey that often takes years and a team of advisors to complete, this planning exercise is often delayed because there are too many jobs that need to be done today, this week or this season. The result is the senior generation feels overwhelmed and the junior generation confused with both wondering “Where do I start?” and “Who can I trust?”

Farm Credit Canada has recognized these challenges and in 2018 formed an Advisory Services team to work with farming families to do pre-transition planning. It is free service to help identify the family’s transition goals. They will perform gap analysis in identifying where things are today and how you will get to where you need to be in the future. The farm is given some guidance and direction on what steps to take. Then there is a clear hand-off to the appropriate professionals where you can clearly discuss the plan to get you to the finish line.

A big key to successful family transfers is using strong, open communication. Multi-generational farm families that have successfully transitioned did so by implementing a written plan, making decisions based on values and vision, and considering the impacts from an ideal financial, tax and legal perspective. A transition plan will examine options and identify obstacles, dealing with the management succession and the transition of assets.

To start conversations and help farmers learn from others’ experience, we will be hosting a virtual panel discussion. FCC Agriculture Transition Specialist Terry Jones will moderating the panel of three farms who will share their stories with you, followed by a question and answer session.

Panel Moderator:  Terry Jones, FCC  Agriculture Transition Specialist


Click here to register!

#HowNSAgs – Emma & Sandy Cole

“Be realistic. Work hard. Always strive to improve.” Three key pieces of advice from Emma and Sandy Cole of Eloc Farms.

Eloc Farms is a tie stall facility located in Middle Musquodobobit, here they milk 50 Holstein and Brown Swiss cows, grow 60 acres of corn for silage, with an additional 200 acres that is cropped for hay. Sandy works full time on the farm, while Emma runs her own fitness business called E Squared Fitness! She offers classes out of their hayloft on the farm and trains people online from across the country.

During the summer months the cows go out to pasture and are milked twice a day. Sandy’s parents help out on the farm, they also receive occasional help from high school students during the summer. The top 50% of their cattle are bred to sexed or conventional semen from the top bulls, with focus on udders, milk production and components, with show type on a select few, while the remainder are bred to beef.

“We enjoy the variety in each day’s activities. No two days are the same. It’s very satisfying to see the results of your work and knowing the impact decisions made in the past, play a part in the schematics of your operation,” said Emma. “We enjoy working with the cattle, being in the fields, and the continuous challenge to improve the farm and the herd.”

Emma and Sandy have been married for almost two years and have a beautiful baby girl, Pippa! Having both grown up on dairy farms – Emma in Ontario and Sandy in Nova Scotia – they have both experienced agriculture first hand.

“We recognized the sacrifices our families made and the work that has to be put in to be a successful farmer,” said Sandy. “We enjoy working outside, being our own boss, working on the land and with animals. Whether it’s watching your crops grow, or a calf grow up into a cow, it’s very satisfying. Some of our fondest memories growing up are working with our families on the farms!”

When asked what they love about Nova Scotia agriculture, “The agriculture community in Nova Scotia is very close knit and supportive of each other. There are a lot of young enthusiastic farmers out there that have the same drive and passion. It’s great to connect with one another whether it’s about the day-to-day operations, plans they have for the future of their farms or the future of agriculture in general.”

Emma and Sandy plan to continue growing their operation while at the same time becoming more efficient. Other goals for their farm include improving their land productivity, soil health, animal health, and milk quality and production.

Their final piece of advice for young farmers or those looking to get into farming?

“Set goals. Know where your dollars and cents are going. Don’t compare yourself to others; every farm is at a different stage in their journey, focus on where you want to be and how you are going to get there. Be able to adapt. Have patience. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and advice. There are many great minds, representatives and people in the field, use those resources, and listen with an open mind. Not every day is going to be a great day, don’t dwell on your mistakes, but learn from them.”


Daniel Muir – #HowNSAgs

If you ask Daniel Muir to offer words of wisdom to young farmers, he will tell you to seek the advice of the older generation.

“They have done everything you are doing now and can share advice on what works, what doesn’t, and save you a lot of time and headache.”

Growing up on a commercial Simmental cow calf farm in Merigomish, Nova Scotia – Daniel saw the importance of agriculture in our society.

“The spectrum of our everyday life that relies on agriculture to operate, from clothing to food supply. Being part of an industry that is critical to our society and everyday life is a rewarding feeling.”

His family raises 25 head of breeding cattle, the calves are raised to feeder size and sold off farm. All sires come from other Maritime farms that use The Maritime Beef Test Station, to evaluate bull performance. They also grow approximately 80 acres of pasture and forages.

Obtaining a B.Sc. from the Nova Scotia Agricultural College (now Dalhousie Faculty of Agriculture), Daniel is now employed as a Traceability Coordinator with the Department of Agriculture. While he currently works off farm, he still spends much of his free time doing seasonal activities, such as; planting, cropping and sire selections. An active member of the Nova Scotia Institute of Agrologists, a past young leader participant of the Canadian Cattlemen’s, as well as a past representative on the Young Cattlemen’s Council – Daniel is heavily involved in the agriculture industry in Nova Scotia.

What he loves about farming is the connection to the animals. His wife is a veterinarian, which makes animals a big part of everything they do. Cattle comfort and welfare are very important on their farm.

In the future, Daniel would like to have an onsite abattoir on their farm. He feels strongly that the demand for safe, local products is increasing.

Daniel appreciates the broadening scope of agriculture in Nova Scotia and finds it refreshing to see.

“All the farms have niche markets or are growing crops or making products that were not available in Nova Scotia in the past,” he adds. “It’s very exciting.”


For the month of March, Nova Scotia Young Farmers put on a photo contest, encouraging young farmers from across the province to submit photos with the hashtag #HowNSAgs. The winner would receive a prize basket of local beverages, a free NSYF membership and a written profile. Daniel Muir was the winner of the #HowNSAgs Photo Contest.


NSYF 2018 AGM Recap

Young farmers from across Nova Scotia gathered at the Best Western Glengarry in Truro on Thursday, November 29th for their annual meeting. This year drew high attendance, with over 40 young farmers participating in the AGM and banquet! Nicolas Roy chaired the meeting and highlighted the events that had taken place over the year – such as; the Board Leadership Training, summer BBQ, thanked the generous commodities for their support, and also acknowledged the continued increase in the number of NSYF members.

Following this, Nicolas announced he was stepping down as President, and would be moving to the role of Past President. The new Board of Directors was elected, and roles have been decided. We’d like to thank Nicolas for the time and commitment he has put into NSYF over the years! Following the adjournment of the annual meeting, many young farmers joined the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture for their banquet, where everyone enjoyed a delicious supper and some social networking.

The 2019 NSYF Board of Directors is as follows:

  • President – Rebecca O’Connell
  • Vice President – Larry Weatherby Jr.
  • Treasurer – Alana Bent
  • Secretary – Brooke McNeil
  • Western Region – Jillian Bent
  • Central Region – Jonathan Waugh
  • Eastern Region – Mandy Vosman

Left to Right; Brooke McNeil, Jillian Bent, Alana Bent, Rebecca O’Connell,

 Nicolas Roy, Larry Weatherby Jr, Jonathan Waugh, Missing from photo: Mandy Vosman


New to the NSYF Board this year is Jillian Bent.

Jillian Bent grew up on her family’s dairy farm in the Annapolis Valley. With her agricultural roots, she decided to attend Dalhousie Faculty of Agriculture and graduated in 2017 with a Bachelor of Agricultural Sciences, majoring in Agricultural Business and double minoring in Agricultural Economics and Plant Science. After graduating university, Jillian travelled to New Zealand to work on a dairy farm that milked 540 cows for five months and explored the country on her days off. After her time abroad, she has now settled back down on her family’s dairy farm where they milk 110 cows, with plans to eventually own the farm alongside her older brother. This is her first year as a young farmer’s member, as well as being a director and she is excited to be a part of it!

NSYF Contact

Nova Scotia Young Farmers’

7 Atlantic Central Drive
East Mountain, Nova Scotia
B6L 2Z2

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

Email: nsyoungfarmers@gmail.com