Agriculture, whether livestock or grain production, has mainly evolved from small family farms into multimillion- dollar businesses. With the transformation comes the need for knowledge and network support systems to ensure the business is successful. Many of the younger generation are equipping themselves with post-secondary education and certification to accomplish this mission.
The Canadian Association of Farm Advisors (CAFA) was established to provide those individuals involved in the agricultural industry with a connection with qualified, agriculturally aware professionals. It is a national, non-profit, professional umbrella organization dedicated to assisting farm families and farm businesses by increasing the skills and knowledge of farm advisers and consultants.
“There are many disciplines represented by CAFA members,” said Liz Robertson, executive director, explaining that members include accountants, bookkeepers, lenders, financial planners, family coaches, lawyers, agrologists, insurance agents, appraisers, risk managers, mediators, real estate agents, human resources specialists, government staff, educators and producers.
CAFA chapters have been established across the country with strong representation in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta and a growing interest in British Columbia.
The organization ensures there is quality assurance within its membership, that each profession represented has credibility with a farm connection. Robertson said that advisers holding CAFA accreditation continue to participate in professional development to ensure they stay current and competitive in the rapidly changing agricultural industry. “This promotes the development of knowledgeable, professional and competent advisers, and enhances consumer protection and quality service.”
CAFA advisers maintain high standards while continuously increasing farm advisory skills and knowledge intended to provide value to their farm clients. It has established a code of ethics to maintain the high level of professionalism within the organization and requires a minimum degree, diploma or reputable recognized designation to obtain a membership with the association. Continued affiliation and regulation with interdisciplinary associations is encouraged. CAFA is the only national organization of certified agricultural farm advisers.
Its mission is to continually improve the quality of advice being given to farm producers and their families including agribusiness.
“CAFA members help farm managers and owners make decisions through quality advice and services. Whether it is assisting with farm transition and continuance, strategic planning, marketing, family coaching, cost of production, benchmarking, mediation and facilitation, tax planning, legal or investment advice, insurance or realty, CAFA members are in tune with the industry’s challenges and opportunities,” says Robertson.
Operating an agriculturally based business should not be a gamble. Hiring a trained, skilled, experienced professional is not an expense but rather an investment towards the future of your business.
For more information about CAFA and to find out how it can assist you, visit www.cafanet.com or call 1-877-474-2871.