$5M more to hire youth for green agriculture projects

A program that supports green projects on farms has been expanded — Ottawa is making $5 million dollars available nationally over the next two years.

'You have to do something to get experience!'

The federal government is spending $5 million to create jobs and green projects like solar power on farms, Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay announced on P.E.I. Tuesday. (Randy McAndrew/CBC)

A program that supports green projects on farms has been expanded — Ottawa is making $5 million dollars available nationally over the next two years.

The details of the renewed Agricultural Youth Green Jobs Initiative were announced today by Island MP and Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay in Wheatley River, P.E.I. as he stood in front of a bank of solar panels on Alan and Melvin Ling's farm. 

"The investment we're making today will help young people get hands-on work experience they need to start building their future in agriculture," MacAulay said. "You have to do something to get experience!" 

Under the green job initiative, farmers can apply for up to $10,000 in matching funds to hire high school or college students to work on green activities, and organizations can also apply for up to $16,000 in matching funds to hire young graduates to pursue environmental programs or research.

The money can be used for things like renewable energy, soil conservation, livestock fencing and reducing pesticides. 

"Just down the road, dairy farmer Ryan Weeks hired a student under the program to act as an environmental farm plant manager," said MacAulay. Watershed and agriculture groups have also used the program. 

Last year the federal government launched the program with a $2 million budget. 

With files from Sally Pitt