new farmers

Want to start a farm? Move to Canada’s Yukon.

As climate change shifts growing zones north, officials in Canada’s sparsely populated Yukon territory are trying to lure farmers to the region with offers of free land. If they agree to abide by a few requirements, prospective farmers can get up to 160 acres.

Pitching ag as high-tech career option for veterans

The USDA's effort to elevate farming as a career option for veterans once they exit the military is moving into a new phase, says Military Times, as officials "unveiled ... plans to better explain and market a host of industry jobs to recently separated service members, calling it a growth area that fits nicely with the skills and training of those veterans."

Closed gate to land ownership may get USDA review

The grim joke in agriculture is that, considering the cost of land and equipment, the only way to become a farmer is to be born into a farm family or marry into one. A recent USDA survey underlined the hurdle of acquiring land, finding that landlords prefer to keep ownership in the family and expect to sell a comparatively modest 21 million acres to outsiders over the next five years. "This means that only a small percentage of farmland will be available for new entrants into the farming sector," said USDA. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack is considering an in-depth study of the land-access question. "We're working on that concept," he told the James Beard Foundation conference.

Agriculture will be part of career counseling for veterans

The Defense Department will integrate agriculture into the career training and counseling programs offered to members of the armed services as they leave the military, the administration announced.

Lack of future farmland bad news for beginning farmers

The USDA’s new rental survey showed that access to land is increasingly becoming a barrier for beginning farmers.

A farm school that emphasizes business acumen

“It’s no longer enough to know how to run a farm,” says Civil Eats in a story about the Grange Farm School in rural Mendocino County, California. “To be successful, farmers also need to learn how to run a business,” so there are classes on sales, marketing, accounting and regulation as well as …

Potlucks or pub nights, women farmers build networks

In the business of agriculture, food becomes part of networking among professionals, says Civil Eats, describing how new women farmers in Wisconsin created a grassroots network through informal potluck meals.

If you’re going small, “the more specialized you have to be”

While the average age of U.S. farmers and farm size is rising, the tale of young people returning to farm on a small scale "is more common than we think," economist Kent Olson tells the nonprofit Minnesota Post in a story that looks at two young farm couples.

Young, urban-born and working on the land

"Being a farmer was the most radical vocation I could choose," says a Columbia graduate now running a sheep and garlic farm in Vermont and quoted in "The New Farmers" in Orion magazine.

The six “Best Places to Farm”

From the Bacon Belt of the South to the rain-red Pacific Northwest, Farm Futures has identified the six "Best Places to Farm," based on analysis of the profitability, financial efficiency and growth of farming in nearly 3,000 counties. For the analysis, Farm Futures used data from the Census of Agriculture in 2012, 2007 and 2002 with the greatest weight going to the 2012 results. "Being a mature industry didn’t keep farmers in our top regions from reinventing their operations with new technology and new enterprises," says a summary.