Internship Experience with Farmers for Climate Solutions
By Tasmia Kabir, MSc graduate from FARE, University of Guelph
Recently I graduated from Food, Agriculture and Resource Economics at the University of Guelph. I have been a scholar of CREATE Climate-Smart Soils program since September 2019. Under this program, I completed an internship with Farmers for Climate Solutions this summer. Farmers for Climate Solution is an alliance for farmer organizations and supporters. The alliance works to advance agriculture policies for adapting and mitigating climate change. As my future career goal is to work with a development organization on agriculture and climate change policies, working with Farmers for Climate Solution was the best fit for me. The key responsibility of my job is to conduct background research on Canada’s Business Risk Management (BRM) programs. My primary objectives of the internship were a) to practice theoretical knowledge gained in academic life and CREATE program at the organizational level and b) to gather comprehensive knowledge about BRM in Canada.
Canada’s Business Risk Management (BRM) programs are critical income supports for farmers. BRM programs are designed to protect farmers when they suffer unexpected risks from changes in the market, weather events, or natural disasters. Currently, there are five BRM programs delivered by the federal government under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership (CAP) 2018-2022):
The CAP is an investment of $3 billion, $1 billion from federal programs and activities, and $2 billion from cost-shared programs and activities by federal, provincial, and territorial (FPT) governments. The estimated federal cost for BRM in 2019-2020 is $1.35 billion (Slade, 2020). Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) allocated 61% of its total budget on BRM programs in 2019-2020 (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, 2019). The FPT governments also took initiatives to review BRM programs in 2017. The government considers ongoing and future discussions to support the development of new risk management tools for farmers.
The purpose of the internship was to get systems-based professional training in the agri-food section in Canada. This internship allowed me to apply my knowledge acquired from graduate studies and CREATE program. Noted, due to COVID-19, the research method was limited by the literature review. To avoid social distancing and adjust to the new normal, I completed the internship from home. My supervisor was in regular touch with me via email and video conference. The new adjustment was a hinder to getting a professional environment. In-person interaction with team members would give me more opportunities for communication and networking. However, it did not affect the research work in my internship. Finally, the research experience has induced my thirst for agriculture policy analysis in Canada.
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. (2019). 2019-20 departmental plan. Available at http://www.agr.gc.ca/eng/about-us/planning-and-reporting/departmental-plans/2019-20-departmental-plan/?id=1551989243153
Slade, P. (2020). Business risk management programs under review. Canada J Agr Econ.1–8. https://doi.org/10.1111/cjag.12218