The largest industry on Prince Edward Island
by Heidi Riley
Agriculture generated almost half a billion dollars in total cash receipts in 2013. The 2011 census listed 1,500 farms primarily engaged in growing crops and raising livestock, ranging in size from a few acres to 3,000 acres.
Agriculture companies on Prince Edward Island – Hiring practices
- ADL, Summerside
- Arthur Mooney & Sons Ltd., Souris
- Atlantic Roasted Products Inc. Montague
- East Point Potato 2009 Inc., Souris
- PEI Bag Company, Central Bedeque
- Real Potatoes Ltd., Cornwall
- Red Soil Organics, Brookfield
- Riverview Country Market, Charlottetown
- Southern Environmental Association, Montague
- W.P. Griffin Inc., Elmsdale
2017 jobs & related jobs to agriculture
Farmer, Herd Manager, Food Inspector, Veterinarian, Agronomist, Horticulturalist, Plant Breeder, Livestock Buyer, Agricultural Engineer, Food Scientist, Nutritionist, Mechanic, Sales & Marketing, Banker, and Accountant.
“GEN AG is an amazing pilot program which is running in four Island senior high schools,” Marilyn Balderston says. “The students work in groups and act as marketing companies whose challenge is to inspire their peers to consider careers in agriculture. Farm Canada Credit is sponsoring the program, which is also in Manitoba, Ontario, and Saskatchewan.”
Agriculture Employment Officers are busy from May to November helping farmers post jobs to the council’s website and matching job seekers with farms. “There are many jobs to be filled here on PEI. Even though there’s mechanization and technology on the farm, farmers still need reliable, skilled people to keep the farm going.”
Canadian Agriculture Literacy Month was held in different schools across PEI in March. “Volunteers visited Grade 3 classrooms to read a book about agriculture and share their farming Ag-related experiences.
“The same type of reading program was held in Island libraries. Grade 3 students were also invited to Agriculture Adventure Days at the end of March. They got up close to animals and farm machinery, and they learned from many PEI commodity groups. It helped children understand where their food comes from while having a positive experience with their teacher, classmates, agriculture volunteers, and PEI farmers.”
Mary Robinson presented with 2017 Women in Agriculture Recognition Award
For Immediate Release
June 5, 2017
Charlottetown, PE -The PEI Federation of Agriculture (PEIFA) congratulates Ms. Mary Robinson on recently being awarded the 2017 Women in Agriculture Award by the PEI’s Women’s Institute. The award ceremony was held on June 3rd, 2017 at the Credit Union Place in Summerside.
The Women in Agriculture Recognition Award is given in the form of a plaque presented bi-annually to recognize an Island woman making a major contribution to the PEI agriculture industry within the last five years Ms. Robinson’s contributions to the agriculture community in PEI, and beyond, over the years have been extraordinary. Farming has been a part of Mary’s life from a very young age. Her family has been farming in Augustine Cove, PEI since 1810. Through this time, she learned early the value of being involved in farm organizations and farm movements.
Ms. Robinson is activity involved in the Canadian Agriculture Human Resources Council, the National Program Advisory Council to the Federal Minister of Agriculture, the Canadian Federation of Agriculture and the PEI Federation of Agriculture. She has served the Federation of Agriculture for the past 8 years and held the office of President in 2015 and 2016.
“Mary is a strong leader and has always encouraged the active participation of others. She is an extremely effective board member, very willing to pitch in, a good team-player and always shows up prepared to discuss the issues,” said PEIFA President David Mol. “Her input is greatly valued. When Mary speaks, people listen”.
The PEI Federation of Agriculture is an industry association that speaks as a united voice for Island farmers. The membership consists of over 500 producers, drawn from all commodities. It exists to help improve the sustainability of Island Farmers and farm families.
For more information, contact Robert Godfrey at the PEIFA office at 368-7289 or on his cell at 902-388-0465.
Food For Thought: How Can Food Help Our Economy Grow?”
July 21, 2017 – Charlottetown, PE – Food is a key part of Atlantic Canada’s economy. From lobster to offshore fisheries to aquaculture to potato production and other farming enterprises, each of the Atlantic Provinces has significant food industries – both primary production and processing. When the link between food production and tourism is added to the mix, it makes the sector even more important to our economy.
Atlantic Canada has a strong and diverse food industry with deep historical roots, and it has great potential for growth. With the federal and provincial governments’ focus on economic growth through the Atlantic Growth Strategy, and the findings of the Dominic Barton-led Advisory Council on Economic Growth on the growth potential of the agri-food sector, the time is right to look at how the region’s food industry can meet that potential.
Today in Charlottetown, the Honourable Scott Brison, President of the Treasury Board and Member of Parliament for Kings-Hants (NS), and the Honourable Wayne Easter, Member of Parliament for Malpeque, joined representatives from PEI’s Food Island Partnership (FIP) and local food industry stakeholders to discuss the role that food plays in Atlantic Canada’s economy, and how governments and industry can work together to help the food industry grow to play more of a leading role in economic growth for the region.
“The Atlantic Growth Strategy is a blueprint for economic growth – it’s a collaborative approach between governments and industry and since it was launched just over a year ago, we’ve already started to see positive results,” says Minister Brison. “I am pleased to meet and work with our food industry to explore ways to help it grow our economy and create good jobs for Atlantic Canadians.”
“The Food Island Partnership is well-positioned to help lead this unprecedented opportunity for growth in the food industry. We look forward to working with the federal government and Atlantic Provinces to ensure that our region’s quality food products have a brighter future than ever before,” says John Rowe, Chair of the Food Island Partnership and President of Island Abbey Foods Ltd.
There is tremendous potential for Atlantic Canadian food products in foreign markets. The Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) will remove tariffs on these products, and growing economies in other parts of the world are creating more and more demand for quality food products.
In the months ahead, more work will be done to ensure that Atlantic Canada’s food industry gets the support it needs to take advantage of these opportunities and build on its long history of success.
CEO, Food Island Partnership
Marketing Officer, Food Island Partnership
The main categories in agriculture
(Source: 2014 Agriculture at a Glance – PEI Agriculture and Forestry Department)
- Potatoes are PEI’s largest agricultural commodity. About 90,200 acres of potatoes were planted in 2014, 1,500 acres more than in 2013. PEI potatoes are mostly processed into frozen potato products and chips on PEI. Fresh table market potatoes are shipped to eastern Canada, the US, and overseas. Seed potatoes are shipped across Canada and around the world.
- Grains and oilseeds include wheat, oats, barley, mixed grain, oilseeds (canola), milling wheat, and soybeans.
- Fruit – Blueberry cultivation makes up the largest acreage of PEI’s commercial fruit crops. The blueberry harvest increased by 40.5 percent from 2013 to 22.7 million pounds in 2014. Cranberries, strawberries, apples, raspberries, grapes, and other fruits are also grown commercially. The honeybee industry serves the fruit and vegetable crop and produces honey.
- Organic farming is expanding across PEI. 60 certified organic producers grow crops and/or livestock.
- Beef – 40 percent of Island farms raise beef. There is one federally inspected abattoir, Atlantic Beef Products Inc. in Albany, which can send its products across Canada. There are also some small local abattoirs that can sell their meats only on PEI.
- Vegetables – Cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, rutabaga, and onions are sold on PEI and shipped to off-Island processors.
- Dairy – There are 180 dairy farms on PEI, with herds ranging from 20 to 300 cows. Fresh milk, cheese, butter, and ice cream are produced at ADL in Summerside.
- Hogs – There are 20 farms on PEI, marketing 62,000 hogs per year.
- Eggs – Seven registered quota holders produce eggs. Two provincial egg grading stations serve the provincial table market. In 2013, 3.427 million dozen eggs were processed.
- Chicken – Eight broiler farms on PEI produce 5 million kg of meat, all of which is processed off-Island.
- Fur farming – As of 2012, there were 11 mink farms and three fox farms.
- Sheep – The Island sheep flock has increased 78 percent since 2006. According to the estimate by Statistics Canada, approximately 100 sheep producers handle about 7,000 sheep, of which there are 3,800 ewes and 2,900 lambs. PEI has an increasing number of goat producers as well.
Number of people employed
According to the PEI Labour Market Bulletin, 3,800 people were employed in agriculture in the third quarter of 2014. The average age of Canadian farmers is 54, and 46.9 percent work off the farm to earn additional income.
Some job titles
- Agriculture Technician
- Vegetable/fruit harvester
- Veterinarian, Veterinary Technician
- Truck driver
- Agricultural Equipment dealer or mechanic
- Agricultural Engineer
Most difficult job to fill
Farmers report that labourers are hardest to find.
- PEI Farm Technician Apprenticeship program
- Atlantic Veterinary College
- Entering Atlantic Veterinary College
- Short courses
Resources to further explore the field
- PEI Agriculture Sector Council
- PEI ADAPT Council – 902-368-2005
- PEI Department of Agriculture and Forestry
|For more information about the agriculture sector on PEI, call 902-892-1091.
|To explore careers further, check the career booklet agriculture and agri-food economy.|
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