The Rise of the Young Farmer

The Good Food Movement—promoting organic, local, and sustainably grown foods—is sweeping the nation and raising a new crop of farmers with it. According to the National Young Farmer’s Coalition report, between now and the year 2030, it is estimated that half a million or one-quarter of American farmers will retire. However, the National Young Farmers Coalition membership began in 2011 and has seen a 90 percent increase in membership over the past six months. Currently, they have 600 members in 13 chapters across 12 states with another dozen chapters currently in development.

These young farmers are quite a contrast to past generations. Many do come from farming families, choosing a farm apprenticeship over agriculture college, using more sustainable growing methods, and growing a wide farm of products from dairy cows to flower CSAs, in spaces as varied as urban plots to rented land. The Town Dish chatted with young farmers in our area to learn how they sprouted their green thumbs.

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Originally created for The Daily Local. All photos courtesy of the farmers.