By Tim Hjersted
Feb 4, 2011
The last 30 years have seen a protracted crisis in American agriculture. We have fewer farmers, less land, a degraded soil base and intensifying corporate control over production, processing and technology. With 58 being the average age of farmers in America, there is a growing need for young people to consider pursuing agriculture as a way to make a positive impact on the future of food.
If you've already watched some of the films to the right, it's clear that a paradigm shift in how we think about and grow food will be required to create a food culture that's sustainable, just, and holistic, promoting both healthy humans and a healthy environment.
What To Do
To investigate the possibilities of becoming a farmer, check out these resources:
The Greenhorns Guide for Beginning Farmers [PDF, 3.18 MB]
This is a guidebook written by young farmers, for young farmers. It is written to help you plan your professional trajectory into the field of sustainable agriculture. In this 30-page guide, we cover some of the major areas of institutional support for young farmers, some likely venues of learning and useful references. You should come away with a sense of how to approach the many hurdles with style, persistance, and improvisational zip.
It's a collaboration of Greenhorns - affiliated greenhorns, and those who have contributed online to: foryoungfarmers.wikispaces.com
Greenhorns Mini Compendium on Land Tenure Resources [PDF, 10MB]
Land. Liberty. Sunshine. Stamina. A mini compendium of resources for beginning farmers on the topic of finding sustainable land tenure.
This compendium was put together for our Land Access Forum for beginning farmers in the Hudson Valley on September 29, 2010 at the Pfeiffer Center in Chesnut Ridge, NY. We give incredible thanks to the many organizations who contributed resources for the Forum and were willing to share their materials with us.