WWOOF Canada’s Longtime Executive Director Becky Young Retires

Apr 2, 2024

Photo: Becky, WWOOF Canada’s outgoing Executive Director, with Robin, WWOOF Canada’s incoming Executive Director.

On February 1, Becky Young, WWOOF Canada’s longtime Executive Director began her retirement. Becky had led WWOOF Canada for the past 14 years.

Becky first joined WWOOF Canada as an IT consultant, before her and her husband Gary purchased WWOOF Canada as a private business back in 2010 from John Vanden Heuvel, WWOOF Canada’s original founder. Becky knew WWOOF well, having WWOOFed in Australia in the early 1980s for 9 months, and had become good friends with many WWOOF hosts who lived near them and their country home close to Nelson, BC.  Becky had a desire to live simply and sustainably since she was a child, and her passion for WWOOF grew through her experience as a WWOOFer, and then as a host.  She had also experienced first-hand the benefits of eating fresh organic food, as it had provided her with a great deal of relief from a lifelong autoimmune condition. 

After taking over, Becky continued to run WWOOF Canada as a small, family-run operation and social enterprise. With the help of a number of important collaborators, including Becky’s sister Pam Boyko, there have been many accomplishments along the way. These include the development of many of the  procedures and management systems  that WWOOF Canada relies on today; the creation of WWOOF Canada’s original online membership platform in 2010; playing a leading role in the creation and development of the Federation of WWOOF Organizations (FoWO) in 2012; and hosting Canada’s first WWOOF International Meeting in Quebec in 2023. Through it all, Becky ensured that WWOOF Canada’s members and its mission would be at the centre of every decision, with all earnings being reinvested into the organization to support its members and advance its mission?

It is possible that no accomplishment is greater than the role she played in the creation of the first ever Common WWOOF Platform (CWP1). Becky acted as the Manager for this project, balancing the needs of 30 different organizations  in order to bring the majority of WWOOF groups onto the same website for the first time ever. That website, first launched in 2017,  paved the way for the Common WWOOF Platform V2, WWOOF Canada’s current website. 

In 2020, Becky began to think about retirement. She decided that in order to align WWOOF Canada’s goals with its organizational structure, WWOOF Canada would transition to a not-for-profit organization, matching the structure of many other leading WWOOF organizations around the world such as WWOOF UK, WWOOF USA and WWOOF Italy.  In February 2024, after 14 years at the helm, Becky Young retired, making way for Robin Young (no family relation) to succeed her as WWOOF Canada’s Executive Director.  Robin has many years of experience as a WWOOFer and host, and has worked with the organization since 2020. He, along with Catherine, WWOOF Canada’s new Coordinator, and a newly recruited Board of Directors will lead the organization into the future. 

Click here to read Becky’s Farewell Letter to WWOOF Canada’s Member. Click here more information on WWOOF Canada’s exciting transition to a non-profit organization.

Website Feature Update: WWOOFer Community List

Website Feature Update: WWOOFer Community List

The WWOOF website is at the centre of how WWOOF members connect. Built and managed by the Federation of WWOOF Organizations (FoWO), the website is an online platform shared by WWOOF groups around the world. The Common WWOOF Platform, as we call it, unifies the WWOOF...

WWOOF Canada’s Exciting Transition!

WWOOF Canada’s Exciting Transition!

On February 1, 2024, WWOOF Canada went through several important changes. Becky Young, WWOOF Canada’s longtime Executive Director retired, WWOOF Canada officially became a non-profit, and a Board of Directors was appointed.