young farmers

Report calls for farmland access for young and people of color

The main obstacle preventing a younger generation from entering farming is a lack of access to land, the National Young Farmers Coalition said in a recent report that advocates for programs that would advance a new generation of farmers and promote racial equity in the sector. “Access to land is the number one barrier facing aspiring farmers today, and this barrier is even greater for farmers of color,” said the director of the group's Land Access Program. (No paywall)

Young farmers face heightened risks from climate change

With this season’s severe flooding, raging wildfires, and delayed planting, many of the country’s farmers are struggling to adjust as climate change sets in. Yet young and beginning farmers face unique challenges, farmers and advocates say, with tenuous finances, relatively small operations, …

On average, U.S. farmers are aging, but a quarter of them are newcomers

One-third of America’s 3.4 million farmers are over the age of 65, and nearly a million more of them are within a decade of that milestone, according to the 2017 Census of Agriculture, released by the USDA on Thursday. For decades, the aging U.S. farmer has been a cause for concern, expressed in this question: Who will feed America in the future? [No paywall]

Bipartisan House bill to help young and beginning farmers

Reps. Sean Maloney of New York state and Ryan Costello of Pennsylvania unveiled a U.S. House bill to help young and beginning farmers get established. The sponsors said action is needed because of the advancing average age of U.S. farmers, nearly 60 in the 2012 Ag Census.

Highly educated urbanites head back to the land

The great majority farmers under the age of 35 hold a college degree, significantly higher than the U.S. average. It is a cohort that "is already contributing to the growth of the local-food movement and could help preserve the place of midsize farms in the rural landscape," says the Washington Post. It cites the 2012 Census of Agriculture as saying the number of farmers under the age of 35 is increasing for only the second time in a generation.

Lost in California wildfires: North Bay vegetable farms

The wildfires in northern California destroyed vegetable farms in Sonoma County, "including several that were founded in the past six years by young farmers taking part in the local organic farm movement," says the San Francisco Chronicle. Growers lost homes and farm buildings and say that getting back into production will be an uphill battle.

Average age of Canadian farmer rises, but there are more young farmers

In a case of statistical whiplash, the average age of the Canadian farmer is up at the same time the country's Census of Agriculture found a 3 percent increase in the number of farm operators under the age of 35. "This is the first time that there has been an increase in this age category since 1991," said Statistics Canada, which conducts the census every five years.

‘Fantasy farming’ gives students control in the fields

Each year, Monsanto sponsors a competition among high school students to see which class can grow the most corn on company-owned land, giving the would-be farmers a chance to call the shots and "learn firsthand about the guesswork and gambles that farmers make every year," says Harvest Public Media.

Experts sound the alarm over aging farmers in Africa

Experts say farming in Africa needs to be modernized and "transformed" to make it more appealing to young people as a way of life, Reuters reports. According to the FAO, the average age of farmers on the continent is 60, while 60-percent of the population is under 24.

Young farmers out west say water is biggest challenge

A survey of over 400 young farmers and ranchers in the western United States found that finding water was even more of an issue than access to land and capital, says Civil Eats.

A college class on whether to go back to the farm

Students at the University of Missouri can enroll in a semester-long course titled "Returning to the Farm," which is exactly what the title says - an intensive examination whether it makes sense to go into farming, says DTN. Associate professor Kevin Moore began teaching the class following the agricultural crisis of the mid-1980s.

Nine states gain in beginning farmers, rest lose

The number of beginning farmers - those in agriculture for less than 10 years - is down by 20 percent in the new Census of Agriculture. Nine states had more beginning farmers in 2012 than in 2007 while the rest showed a decline, says the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition in a blog.