the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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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