Nova Scotia Journal

The vast majority of Nova Scotia ranches have no succession strategy

Nova Scotia

Key takeaways: 

  • According to 2021 figures, the number of ranches in Nova Scotia reduced by over 20% from 5 years before.
  • He stated he’s concerned that over 90 percent of farms in Nova Scotia don’t have a succession strategy. 

Richard Melvin has spent a lot of time pondering the future of his farm.

He cultivates fresh vegetables like cauliflower and romaine lettuce on his ranch, which is approximately 200 hectares. Over time, he’s made a succession program, summarizing the details of how his farm will be given on.

But Melvin, who is 67, is in the vast minority.

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Richard Melvin has spent a lot of time pondering the future of his farm

According to the 2021 Census of Agriculture, only approximately eight percent of farms in Nova Scotia have a succession strategy. The area also has the nation’s oldest farm operators, with an average age of 58.2 years. Melvin said these statistics are worrying.

“It notifies us that in a span of five to 10 years, there’s going to be an effective retirement or growth of our existing farmers into retirement, which will leave a huge gap in our human resource capacity to run these ranches,” he said.

Melvin said that older growers usually could be in rejection about aging and having to pass on the farm to the next generation. There may be embarrassing conversations about family dynamics and the economic viability of the farm.

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