Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture

Canadian agriculture protects our shared environment

Farmers are Environmental Stewards

Don’t forget to share your story, best management practices and environmental stewardship

  • Many species at risk, such as the bobolink and wood turtle, create habitat on agricultural land and farm adjust practices to protect these species.
  • Farmers are stewards of the environment. In Nova Scotia, we have an Environmental Farm Plan Program that around 2000 farms participate in.  (examples, of protecting water, soil, erosion mitigation, etc.).

We’re Hiring!

The Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture (NSFA) is currently seeking a Financial Services Coordinator to join its Operations Team. The NSFA represents the interests of Nova Scotia’s farms and farmers. Today its members account for well over 90% of all agricultural production in Nova Scotia and brings together more than 2,400 individual farm businesses. The NSFA tackles policy issues that impact the prosperous and sustainable nature of the industry and takes an active role in supporting registered farms through delivery of programs and services.  The Financial Services Coordinator will be part of a dedicated team supporting the farm community.

The Financial Services Coordinator is responsible for coordinating day-to-day accounting and finances for the non-profit organization. Confidentiality, excellent organizational skills and accuracy are essential, as well as good customer relations and the ability to communicate clearly.  The ideal candidate for this position is reliable, responsible and committed to meeting deadlines.

The NSFA prides itself in providing a passionate work environment and is a tight-knit supportive group encouraging collaboration and sharing of ideas.

Anticipated start date: October 1st 

Job description

Hurricane Dorian Support

Emergency Support

We are aware there are still farms dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian and some in emergency situations. Nova Scotia’s Emergency Management Office is ready to provide support to those currently in emergency situations impacting animal welfare, crop storage, etc.  – no power, generator failures, challenges accessing fuel for generators, access to reefer trucks, etc.

If any of the above scenarios apply to you please contact your Regional Emergency Management Coordinator or email

  • Farm name/contact person
  • Your civic address
  • Your phone number
  • What support do you require – generator, fuel, reefer trucks?

EMO will make every effort to support you in getting you fuel, back-up generators, etc.

Power Outage

If you are still out of power, ensure that your power outage is reported to Nova Scotia power by calling 1.877.428.6004 or reporting via the Online Outage Centre. If it is not registered on their outage map, they are not aware you are without power.

Farm Family Support Line

This is a tough time for many farmers – be sure to check on your family, friends and neighbours.  The Farm Family Support Line is a resource providing professional services available to you at no cost – 1.844.880.9142.

The NSFA will be following up with an impact survey over the next week to gain a better understanding of the needs of our members.

We’re Hiring!

The Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture (NSFA) is currently seeking a Program Coordinator to join its Outreach Team.

The Program Coordinator will be part of a dedicated team supporting the farm community, providing them with the resources they need to succeed and advocating in their best interest. Working in a position that will support farms in becoming responsible employers of choice while working to support a skilled workforce. The Program Coordinator will be essential to coordinating programming to support human resources and skills training, while working with industry partners to recruit farmers and farm workers to our industry through career promotion, temporary foreign worker and immigration programs as well as succession planning.

Application deadline: August 12, 2019

Job Posting

Title Change for Wanda Hamilton

From Financial Services to Communications to Associate Director, Wanda Hamilton has been with the Federation for over 15 years – receiving her 15-year recognition at our 2018 Annual Meeting.

An integral part of the NSFA team, Wanda led our recent strategic planning process – working closely with Yvonne Thyssen-Post and the Steering Committee to ensure the direction of our 2019-2023 Strategic Plan. As you know, NSFA underwent a staff restructure as a result of this Strategic Plan with Carolyn Van Den Heuvel, Maxine MacLean and Katherine Doyle assuming new roles.

Taking another step in our strategic planning tactics has Wanda assuming a new title, Director of Operations and Government Relations. While her role in the organization and key responsibilities will not be changing – the title change was recommended in order to mirror our Operations and Outreach structure.

The Director of Operations and Government Relations is responsible for overseeing the Operations team of NSFA, including issues, policy and research management along with building and tenant management.  Wanda will continue to provide a support role for governance through Executive and Council of Leaders as well as liaison with commodities, committees and government.

Congratulations Wanda!

EFP Program to be Re-Launched in Nova Scotia

As many of you are well aware, the Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) Program has been under review by the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture (NSDA) over the past year.  Coming off the news that the EFP program was going to be shifted to another delivery agent, the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture (NSFA) and its members rallied to ensure the program continued to be delivered by the NSFA, an industry association.

After lengthy deliberations, the NSDA has agreed to continue with the NSFA delivering the on-farm portion of the program, with a significantly reduced budget. The new program will be benchmarked to align with the Farm Sustainability Assessment 2.1, which means the program will meet a recognized national standard – a direction NSFA had been advocating for a number of years. Our hope is that the program will then be used for marketing and promotion of farm products and support our efforts in gaining public trust in our food system. This work will be done through a 3-way partnership with the NSFA, NSDA and Perennia.

We are currently in the initial stages of planning exactly what the EFP re-launch will look like and have developed a task force and working group to lead this planning process. We look forward to seeing what the re-launch will be and will continue to advocate for a program that supports the best interest of the industry, while aligning with government priorities.

NSFA will continue to deliver the existing program at a reduced scale, with only two Coordinators, until the re-launch is finalized.

For more information on FSA 2.1 visit  For any comments or concerns please contact Carolyn Van Den Heuvel, Director of Outreach and Member Relations at or (902) 893-2293.

Developing Policy

Have your say – NSFA is developing Standing Policies for 2020!

Each summer, careful consideration goes into developing Standing Policies and associated messaging.  An important part of the policy development process is hearing from the people affected by the policies. There are mechanisms in issue management, watching trends, discussion at committee, Executive and Council of Leaders that provide input, however hearing from our members is key.  To direct action on a Standing Policy, we must convey the issue and the impact of an issue on farms (or the industry) along with practical solutions when lobbying decision makers.

We invite you to review the themes that the Policy Team have explored as key areas for NSFA Standing Policy 2020:

Agriculture Land: The focus has been for quite some time on ensuring healthy, viable agriculture land for current and prospective farmers.  Progress is being made under direction from the Agriculture Land Policy Committee, therefore actions for this policy will continue to progress the recommendations in the various land reports from the last ten years and implementing an agriculture land strategy for the province.

Labour:  The Labour Standing Policy has focused heavily on skills development, training and addressing the labour gap within the industry.  With recent funding from the Department of Labour and Advanced Education, NSFA’s outreach team will be delivering training and resources to the farm community.  The Trade Advisory Committee continues to meet and inform the Farm Technician Apprenticeship Program which is expected to launch in 2020.  While the training and skills gap will be addressed in practice, other challenges with labour have been identified, particularly the regulatory framework.  It is suggested that the 2020 policy on labour will focus on how the current regulatory framework is a hindrance in addressing the labour gap.

Transportation:  The purpose of the Transportation Standing Policy is to focus on the impending regulations under the Traffic Safety Act (TSA).  Through NSFA’s Transportation Committee, NSFA has developed recommendations to improve moving equipment on the roads, licensing and registration under the new regulations.  Consulting and lobbying on the TSA regulations will continue to be a top priority for NSFA.

Regulatory Alignment:  This policy had different names over the years from Red Tape to Regulatory Burden.  The purpose has always remained the same – ensure that legislation and regulations influence a prosperous and sustainable future for Nova Scotia farms and farmers.  For 2020, it is expected that NSFA will continue to lobby on biosecurity training and procedures for inspection officers as well as reviewing challenges with regards to animal welfare.  From a monitoring perspective, NSFA will continue to communicate opportunities to consult on changes as they apply to farm businesses.

Soil Health: New for 2020, the Policy Team is introducing a Soil Health Standing Policy.  The intentions are to bring the importance of healthy agriculture soils to a top priority for decision makers.  NSFA has started work on this area, particularly in the land file. Considerations for this policy will include the development of a comprehensive soil health improvement program, protection from top soil removal and strategies to mitigate against erosion.

Draft versions of the policies will be available in October, ahead of the November NSFA AGM and will be presented on at County/Regional Federations’ AGMs in the fall.  In the meantime, for more information or to provide input on Standing Policies, NSFA members are welcomed to contact NSFA Policy and Research Coordinator, Maxine MacLean.  (902-893-2293 or

Statement: Agriculture On-Farm Student Bursary Program a Positive Initiative for the Industry

Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture is pleased with the announcement regarding the Agriculture On-Farm Student Bursary Program. This program will provide high school and university students working on farm – family farms included – with funding to put towards their education.

While supporting their education, this program promotes students to seek jobs in agriculture. This program will also create awareness and support recruitment in the various careers connected to the agriculture industry.

“We see the program as a positive for the industry,” said Victor Oulton, President of Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture. “This is a step towards inspiring the youth of our province to consider pursuing a career in agriculture. Whether it is on the farm or in a supporting role – youth in agriculture remain valued and essential to the future of our industry.”

Applications for the Agriculture On-Farm Student Bursary Program will be available on September 1.

More information on the program can be found here

Press release from Minister of Agriculture, Keith Colwell can be found here.



For more information:

Katherine Doyle
Communications Coordinator
Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture
Phone: (902) 893-2293

The Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture represents the interests of over 2400 farm families in Nova Scotia. Founded in 1895 to provide Nova Scotia’s farm community with a single voice, the NSFA is the province’s only general farm organization.


‘Tis the Season…for Open Farm Day!

It’s that time of year again! The sun is finally shining, fields are planted, crops are getting cut, you’re putting in long hours and may find yourself thinking about what’s next. Falling in line with harvest season is Open Farm Day. A chance to educate and excite visitors by showcasing the hard work and dedication it takes to run your operation and produce the food/products that reach their homes across the province.

According to the Canadian Centre for Food Integrity’s (CCFI) 2018 Public Trust research, only 36% of Canadians believe that our food system is on the right track. This is down 7% from 2017. Studies show that people trust farmers but not farming – trusting the person not the process – it’s time we change that.

There is a push for industry led public trust initiatives, at our Annual Meeting back in November public trust was ranked as the number one issue facing our farmers today. Open Farm Day is one key component of this approach – offering a hands-on experience and the chance to connect with consumers face to face.

Over the last 17 years, you have welcomed the public onto your farming operations, we hope you will join us for the 18th Annual Open Farm Day, September 15th 2019. Registration forms can be found inserted in this News & Views issue or online at

As a participating farm you must offer activities that will provide an opportunity to educate the public on how agriculture impacts their daily lives. For a full list of requirements, see the registration form. To ensure your farm is included in promotional material, please speak with Katherine by July 18th. A signed copy of your liability/insurance sheet must be submitted by August 2nd.

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to:

Katherine Doyle: or (902) 893-2293

Lindsey Burgess: or (902) 893-2293

Farm Technician Apprenticeship

The Farm Technician Apprenticeship Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) is continuing its work towards a trade designation of Farm Technician. Sitting on the committee are, Chair Kimberly Stokdijk and members Denise Bekkers, Lauchie MacEachern, Gordon Jackson, Angus Ells, Matthew Harrison and Henry Vissers, with support from the staff of the Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency. The TAC is currently working toward a presentation to the Apprenticeship board in November of this year.

The development of the Farm Tech Apprenticeship stems from a NSFA policy which identifies the lack of skilled labour as a critical issue for Nova Scotia farms. Once the Farm Technician trade is designated, farms will be able to enroll existing employees that are interested in enhancing their skills

Apprenticeship is a form of post-secondary education for both young and mature individuals who want to be certified to work in a skilled trade. It is a combination of on‑the‑job and technical training where skilled trades’ professionals (certified journeypersons) pass on knowledge and skills to learners (apprentices).

Apprenticeships such as Farm Technician begins with an agreement between an apprentice and an employer. The apprentice, who would already be working for a farm, agrees to enter the apprenticeship program in exchange for supervised, on-the-job training and experience, and the opportunity to participate in the necessary technical training. In the workplace, apprentices are supervised by a certified journeyperson who tracks both their hours and competence in the practical skills of the trade. A farmer can apply for and receive a certificate of competence that would allow them to take on the role normally filled by a journeyperson.

Technical training is offered in class and/or online and is administered and arranged by the agency. Upon completion of the apprenticeship program (including technical training, on-the-job hours and competency in workplace practical skills), apprentices are eligible to write the certification exam.

In addition, there are supports for employers, as well as financial supports that are available to assist individuals on their journey from apprentice to certified journeyperson.


  1. Nova Scotia Wild Blueberry Conference and Annual Meeting of the Wild Blueberry Producers’ Association of Nova Scotia

    November 14 @ 8:00 am - November 15 @ 5:00 pm
  2. Digby County Federation of Agriculture Annual Meeting

    November 14 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
  3. Cumberland County Federation of Agriculture Annual Meeting

    November 14 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
  4. Antigonish Guysborough Federation of Agriculture Annual Meeting

    November 21 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
  5. Sheep Producers Association of Nova Scotia Annual Meeting

    November 23 @ 9:30 am - 3:00 pm


7 Atlantic Central Drive
East Mountain, N.S.
B6L 2Z2

Phone – 902-893-2293
Fax – 902-893-7063