the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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young farmers on church land

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credit: Emily Michot at the Miami Herald (emichot@miamiherald.com)

You have have read about our upcoming Faith Lands conference in our newsletter during the week. The purpose of the gathering is to connect landowning faith groups with landless young farmers. We want to help create a network that will help nativiate some of the complex issues that can arise in these situations. We are not the first to have this thought however, and we are delighted to see that there are already relationships blossoming between these two diverse groups. Once such example can be seen in the collaboration between Moses Kashem and the St. Simon’s Episcopal church as reported by the Miami Herald this week.

St. Simon’s Episcopal church was going broke. It’s a tiny squat building on 4 acres of land in south Miami-Dade County, with a tiny congregation. That’s when a new member of the congregation, Moses Kashem, came up with an idea. A young farmer, he asked the church elders to give him half an acre to farm specifically for local restaurants and chefs, and he already has signed up several chefs to purchase his produce.

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black farmer from charlottesville address the subtle racism that he faces in his community.

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credit: facebook/Sylvanaqua Farms

Chris Newman is a farmer in Charlottesville working towards a sustainable, healthy and organic future for his family and community. Yet despite this, Chris, as a black man faces racial profiling and discrimination on a regular basis. He has been attracting a lot of attention lately due to his recent facebook post that called out the counter-protests that took place after the white nationalist protest against the removal of a confederate monument saying that he felt “far less bothered by the flag wavers in this picture [above] than this town’s progressives assuming its race problem has nothing to do with them.”
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watch: national young farmers coalition lindsey lusher shute’s fantastic statement before the senate.

We are so proud of Lindsey Luscher Shute after her outstanding performance before the senate committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. She did a fantastic job of representing the struggles facing young farmers, from land access and affordability, student loan debt, health care affordability to the bias against women and people of color in the existing agricultural framework. She went on to outline the progress needed going forward and the issues that need to be addressed in the next Farm Bill in order to support a new generation of farmers who face different challenges and require different support mechanisms.

Lindsey also submitted a full written testimony that goes into much more detail about the young farmers movement. To read the full testimony click HERE


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blog and podcast focused on women in agriculture

the chicken caravan, Quebec, Canada

the chicken caravan, Quebec, Canada

Have you heard of the Female Farmer Project?

Well, now you have.

The project is a collaboration between writers, photographers, and farmers (of course!). FFP is working on highlighting women in agriculture and is setting about chronicling the rise in female farmers across the world. We feel it’s necessary to point out the obvious, which is that women have always been farming and have actually played a pretty central role in agriculture for, basically, ever.  But the historical narrative often focuses on men (we like you guys too).

From the Female Farmer Project blog:

“I spent the weekend visiting friends who live in rural Minnesota. Though they aren’t farming, they are surrounded by farms and live on a farmstead. I was reading to their 5 year old girl and 3 year old boy and a book mentioned “the farmer’s wife” but I instead just called her “the farmer” because, duh. And the little girl immediately piped up and said “I thought only boys were farmers”. So I told them that girls can be farmers too and lots of girls are farmers.”

Check the project out here.

and go listen to their fun podcast here.


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man writes the NYT advice column in a panic that his son want might volunteer on an organic farm

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This one here is a good laugh for all of us who may or may not be the black sheep of the family. (My grandma clipped the above cartoon out of the New Yorker and promptly sent it to me without any card when I started farming six years ago. I like to think she was smiling about it, but it’s hard to tell.)

Some man wrote the New York Times “Social Q” column last week, explaining that he is “not paying $60,000 a year (after taxes) for him to become a farmer.” And, for once in a blue moon, the NYT writer abstained from millenial-bashing to explain that the parent might consider seeking out “less controlling ways to teach him the consequences of his professional choices.” Read the full clip below the break, and maybe consider that abysmal attitudes like this are best countered with a donation to your friendly local farm advocacy organization. We still need all the help we can get! Continue reading


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thanks, huffington post!

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This week from the Huffington Post: Millenial Farmers Fight an Uphill Battle. It’s Time to Support Them.

Probably nothing in the article is going to be groundbreaking for the greenhorns audience, but it’s always nice to feel validated… and, possibly, to email the source of that validation to you parents.

 

Plus there are some great quotes from the farmers in the article that I think will resonate with all you young farmers out there.

“We know it’s work and an uphill battle, but for some reason, we still want to do it.”

-Mike and Molly Peterson of Heritage Hollow Farms in Sperryville, VA

 


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farming as a public service press update

Op-Ed: Is farming a public service?

Vertical_professions_FIPSBy LIZ CARLISLE (published in the LA Times July 9, 2015)

A bill recently introduced in Congress, the Young Farmer Success Act, would make farmers eligible for federally subsidized student loan forgiveness — just as teachers and nurses are now — on the grounds that agriculture is a public service. But is it? Continue reading


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young farmers in the news

“Greenhorns”: California couple learns farm life running local CSA farm
By Polly Keary, Editor

Andrew Ide, 27, has a degree in philosophy and theology. His wife Micha, 29, has a degree in anthropology and part of another in interior design. Both have experience in the California corporate world.

None of that knowledge is doing them any good now.

The chickens are out.

Read the rest of the article here.


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not farmland without farmers

Keep Farmland for Farmers
By LINDSEY LUSHER SHUTE and BENJAMIN SHUTE

CLERMONT, N.Y. — WHEN we went looking in upstate New York for a home for our farm, we feared competition from deep-pocketed developers, a new subdivision or a big-box store. These turned out to be the least of our problems.

Though the farms best suited for our vegetables were protected from development by conservation easements, we discovered that we couldn’t compete, because conserved farmland is open to all buyers — millionaires included.

Easements are intended to protect farmland, water, animal habitat, historic sites and scenic views, and so they are successful in keeping farms from becoming malls and subdivisions. But they don’t stop Wall Street bankers from turning them into private getaways, with price tags to match.

Read the rest here.


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we applaud the leadership of quivira

The Staff and the Board of the Quivira Coalition are very pleased to announce a major leadership transition. On November 1, 2012, the Board formally appointed Avery C. Anderson as Quivira’s new Executive Director! Courtney will assume the title of Founder and Creative Director and will focus on fundraising, writing and outreach activities. This transition is heartily supported by everyone at the organization and honors both Avery’s leadership skills and the need to think about long-range planning to keep Quivira resilient. We’re excited about this transition and look forward to the Next Steps it represents.


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ny times talks with young farmers

After Graduating From College, It’s Time to Plow, Plant and Harvest

RED HOOK, N.Y. — It was harvest time, and several farm hands were hunched over a bed of sweet potatoes under the midday sun, elbow deep in soil for $10 an hour. But they were not typical laborers.

Jeff Arnold, 28, who has learned how to expertly maneuver a tractor, graduated from Colorado State University. Abe Bobman, 24, who studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Connecticut, was clearing vines alongside Nate Krauss-Malett, 25, who went to Skidmore College.

Mr. Krauss-Malett said he became interested in farming after working in a restaurant and seeing how much food was wasted. Mr. Bobman had the same realization working in the produce section at a grocery store before college.

They had been in the fields here at Hearty Roots Community Farm in the Hudson Valley since 7 a.m. They all said they could not imagine doing any other job.

Read the rest of the article here.


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lots of young farmers working with drafts

New Family Farm, bridge to a simpler past
By ANDREA GRANAHAN / West County Correspondent

The young farmers at New Family Farm were not born to their trade. They chose it with a great deal of thought in a way that is reminiscent of the Back to the Land movement of the 1970s. But in many ways these folks are not your Mama’s hippies.

Ryan Power, 26, his fiance Felicja Channing, 26, their 22-month-old baby, Aniela, and partner Adam Davidoff, 25, support themselves on 15 acres they lease outside of Sebastopol. With hired hand Jenny Hertzog, they grow certified organic vegetables on three and a half acres. The rest are devoted to animals, including the draft horses that pull their plows and the wildlife that travels on the fenced off corridor along the creek below their fields. Continue reading