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National Farm Radio Forum: The future of farm youth

It was radio that got farmers talking. From 1941 to 1965, National Farm Radio Forum brought together groups of neighbours across rural Canada to listen to a weekly half-hour program on a single farm issue. Using accompanying printed study guides, the groups then discussed the broadcast and sent in a summary for follow-up on a subsequent show. Launched as an educational experiment by the CBC, along with the Canadian Association for Adult Education and the Canadian Federation of Agriculture, the show's motto was: "Read. Listen. Discuss. Act."

In 1962, just 9.5 per cent of all workers in Canada are employed on farms, and all signs point to a future farm labour force of just one or two per cent. So how can a young person growing up on the farm in 1964 prepare for a future off it? In this week's National Radio Farm Forum, a panel considers how best to inform rural youth about their options for education, whether they plan to leave the farm or not.
• The panellists in this program were correct in their predictions about percentage of farm workers in the future. In the 2001 census, about 313,000 people cited farm work as their main job - about one per cent of all workers. 
• According to the guide that accompanied this program, there were two jobs in agribusiness (off-farm jobs in the agriculture sector) for every farm job, and the number was expected to climb. 
Medium: Radio
Program: National Farm Radio Forum
Broadcast Date: Jan. 6, 1964
Guest(s): S.H. Deakes, Donald Fisher, Lloyd McKean, Helge Osman
Duration: 29:14
Photo: CN Photo Collection, Canada Science and Technology Museum

Last updated: January 25, 2012

Page consulted on December 6, 2013

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