Future Farmer Program

The purpose of the Future Farmer program is to encourage new Prince Edward Island farmers to develop successful commercial farm operations.

This program has seven components:

  1. Facilitation and Coaching Assistance by a Program Advisor
  2. Skills Assessment
  3. Business Planning
  4. Skills Development and Training
  5. Understanding Analytical Laboratory Results
  6. Business Risk Management*
  7. Interest Rebate Assistance*

* Component is not funded under Growing Forward 2

Who is eligible for funding?

  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • Must be a resident of Prince Edward Island
  • May be an individual or a member of a Corporation, Partnership or Co-operative
  • Must not have reported farming income on an income tax return with more than a total of $40,000 cumulative in the fifth and prior years to the applicant’s acceptance into the Program (e.g., applicants entering the program in 2013 must not have more than a total of $40,000 cumulative in gross farm income on the 2008 and earlier income tax forms).
  • In the case of corporations or partnerships, the farm’s gross sales will be attributed to the applicant based on the percent of common shares or partnership interest owned by the applicant.  Level of ownership will be used to determine that there was no more than a total of $40,000 cumulative in the fifth and prior to the applicant’s acceptance into the program.
  • Must agree to complete a three year business plan.  The plan must indicate a projection of at least $15,000 in annual gross farm sales by the end of the third year. An agriculture sector requiring a period of development prior to sales generation will be given special consideration (e.g. blueberry land development).
  • Must be working toward gaining ownership in a commercial farm within three years of entrance into the program.  For farms with gross sales of $1M or less, the applicant must own at least 15% of the common voting shares or must be the beneficial owner of a 15% interest in the partnership by the third year of participation in the program.  For farms with gross sales over $1M, the applicant must own at least 10% of the common voting shares or must be the beneficial owner of a 10% interest in the partnership by the third year of participation in the program.  The applicant will not be eligible for an interest rebate or Business Risk Management reimbursement until ownership is confirmed.
  • Must be the only participant from the farming operation to enroll in the Future Farmer Program.

Applicants Reapplying to the Program
Individuals who previously were approved for the Future Farmer Program but did not proceed with the development of a commercial farming operation, may reapply to the program providing that they meet the program guidelines and have not accessed more than $3,000 under the program.   A new application form must be submitted to the program.

What activities will be funded?

  1. Facilitation and Coaching Assistance by a Program Advisor
    • a Future Farmer Advisor is assigned to work closely with each applicant in a facilitation and coaching role.
    • the Advisor will be the applicant’s program contact for the five year term ensuring the applicant is aware of Department programming, services and training opportunities
  2. Skills Assessment
    • meet with the assigned Advisor to discuss skills and training requirements for the management of the farm operation within first year of enrollment
    • the applicant will be assisted by their Advisor to identify training opportunities which will strengthen their farm management skills as identified in the Farm Manager Skills Chart developed by PEI farmers.
  3. Business Planning
    • completion of a business plan with projection of at least $15,000 in annual gross farm sales by the end of the applicant’s third year in the program. Individuals who plan to farm in an agriculture sector that require a period of development, prior to sales generation, will be given special consideration as to an acceptable gross farm sale projection (e.g. blueberry landdevelopment).
    • a completed business plan is required before an applicant is eligible for the interest rebate, analytical laboratory reimbursement and the business risk management components of the program
  4. Skills Development and Training
    • training is available to either the applicant or to a farming partner(s)
    • training includes workshops, one-on-one skills development with a consultant, working with a farm advisory team or mentor.
    • All training must be farm related
  5. Understanding Analytical Laboratory Results
    • training in the area of gathering, interpreting, and utilizing sample results is a requirement for assistance and can be provided by the Advisor.
  6. Business RIsk Management Assistance
    • to encourage new entrants to become familiar with the benefits of Business Risk Management programs - AgriStability and AgriInsurance
  7. Interest Rebate Assistance
    • will reduce interest costs for the applicant for a period of three consecutive years on farm operating capital and/or term farm capital loans.
    • must have a completed a three year Business Plan
    • must have the required ownership in the farm
    • must have a current Enhanced Environmental Farm Plan
    • must complete 20 hours of formalized training in each of the three years of interest rebate eligibility. The applicant is to provide their  Advisor annually (for 3 years) with a listing of the formalized training taken.

What expenses are eligible for funding?

Business Planning

  • consultant fees

Skills Development and Training

  • registration fees
  • fees for one-on-one training
  • honoria/services fees
  • off-Island kms & accommodations and airfare

Understanding Analytical Laboratory Results

  • soil, livestock feed, manure, compost, tissue, seed germination, milk and water testing

Business Risk Management Assistance

  • costs associated with enrollment in the AgriInsurance (Production Insurance) Program
  • program fees in the AgriStability Program

Interest Rebate Assistance

  • loans must be for new farm investment or for farm operating purposes
  • loans for refinancing purposes are not eligible
  • operating loans must be solely used for farm related expenditures

What funding assistance is available?

Business Planning

  • 100% funding to a maximum of $4,500 is available to hire a consultant to assist the applicant with the development of a business plan with three years of projections. Application for funding must be approved prior to hiring a consultant.
  • up to $600 is available to an applicant who is qualified to develop their own business plan. The plan must be reviewed and approved by their Advisor to be eligible for funding.

Skills Development and Training 

  • 75% reimbursement up to $4,000
  • cannot exceed $2,000 per training event
  • Reimbursements greater than $500 per training event requires that a short report be submitted with the claim form. The report must identify the training received, skills developed, and benefits to the farming operation.

Understanding Analytical Laboratory Results

  • 50% reimbursement for samples submitted to the PEI Analytical Laboratories to a maximum assistance level of $1,000 per applicant’s term

Business Risk Management Assistance

  • 50% of an applicant’s costs associated with enrollment in the PEI Agricultural Production Insurance program and/or
  • 50% of an applicant’s program fee in the AgriStability Program
  • Maximum assistance per applicant is $2,000 available over two consecutive years

Interest Rate Assistance

  • Maximum assistance per applicant will be $7,500 annually to a maximum contribution of $22,500 over the three years.
  • The level of funding available to the applicant will be dependent upon the level of education achieved and training taken during the year:
    • all applicants are eligible for 1% per annum on loan amounts totaling up to $250,000
    • if applicant has completed Grade 12 or equivalent and has participate in 20 hours of formal training events annually he/she will be eligible for a 3% interest rebate on loan amounts totaling up to $250,000.

** see additional tems and conditions for this component

How do I apply?

  1. complete an application form for the Future Farmer Program and forward to the PEI Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
  2. meet with a Future Farmer Advisor to review the completed program application form, the program details, and to discuss the completion of separate application forms for the program components

Note: Understand that program funds are limited; therefore, if the number of applications exceeds budget allocations, new applications may not receive program funding. 

How do I claim?

Submit completed claim forms each component seperately along with proof of payment

Forward completed application and claim forms to:

Future Farmer Program
PEI Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
PO Box 2000, 5th Floor Jones
Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8
Telephone: (902) 368-6366
Fax: (902) 368-4857

When will the program end?

This program is effective April 1, 2013 and will terminate on March 31, 2018. This program may be altered or discontinued without notice by the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry.

**Additional Terms and Conditions for Interest Rebate Component

  • The initial draw of funds must be after the applicant is approved for the Future Farmer Program.The only exception is for an farm operating loan.
  • In the case where a new loan is combined with an old loan, only the portion of the loan representing new investment is eligible for interest rebate. In this case, all three years of interest rebate will be based on the new investment draw; that is, all interest support payments are assumed to reduce the principal balance of the old loan until the original principal is paid off.
  • Interest rebate will be paid on loans approved by a recognized financial institution (chartered banks, Farm Credit Canada, Prince Edward Island Lending Agency or credit unions) or through a financing company providing that the loan is to purchase a farm-related asset.
  • Interest rebate will be based upon the amount of interest actually paid in the three years consecutive years selected, to be reimbursed, by the applicant.
  • There will be no accumulated interest rebate.
  • Interest rebate will be calculated based on the loan amount and the eligible interest rate.
  • The applicant must provide to the Future Farmer Advisor:
    • An interest rebate application form for each loan.
    • An annual statement from the lending institution listing the loan history for the term and verification that the interest has been paid in full. Note: This is only required for the three years that interest rebate is reimbursed.

PROGRAM MANAGEMENT :

  • The Program Manager shall have the authority to refuse to consider an application if there is evidence of misrepresentation of pertinent information, or if the Manager believes that an application does not conform to the spirit of the program.
  • The applicant may be required to repay the amount of interest rebate received through this program if the farm is sold, or if the farming operation is discontinued within a five year period from the date of the draw of funds, on a declining basis, as follows:
    • 100% repayable within the first twelve months of receiving a benefit
    • 80% repayable after one year
    • 60% repayable after two years
    • 40% repayable after three years
    • 20% repayable after four years
    • 0% repayable after five years

Version 2.0

Published date: 
April 1, 2016
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General Inquiries

Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
5th Floor, Jones Building
11 Kent Street,
P.O. Box 2000,
Charlottetown, PEI   C1A 7N8

Phone: (902) 368-4880
Fax: (902) 368-4857

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Agriculture Information Desk
1-866-PEI FARM (734-3276)

peiextension@gov.pe.ca