STAFFA — The former chair of the Grain Farmers of Ontario is looking at how mid-size Ontario farmers can join forces in small groups to become more efficient.
Mark Brock, a cash crop and sheep producer at Staffa in Perth County, was one of five Canadian farmers to receive a $15,000 Nuffield scholarship last month. The money covers the cost of travel and compensation for time away from work as recipients travel the globe as part of their studies. The recipients must be able to travel for a minimum of 10 weeks, with a minimum of six consecutive weeks at one point, as part of a research project.
Brock plans to study funding and investment models to create options for mid-sized farms to team together to create efficiencies.
Brock said it’s becoming difficult for mid-sized farmers to make capital purchases.“Even our own farm, where we farm 1,600 acres, a brand new combine is out of the realm for us,” he said. “We always have to look at used.”
Example of models could entail five farmers purchasing a combine together, or hiring a bookkeeper for all the farms to ensure there’s enough hours for the bookkeeper.
Nuffield scholarship applications are for those in mid-career and between the ages of 30 and 45. Visit www.nuffield.ca for more information.