New report on Western Water: Conservation Generation

Across most of the arid West, drought has been the norm for the last 15 years. The majority of young farmers and ranchers in this region have never farmed in non-drought conditions, which means they are uniquely focused on creative solutions to water conservation. NYFC’s new report, Conservation Generation: How Young Farmers And Ranchers Are Essential to Tackling Water Scarcity in the Arid West, paints a picture of these young farmers, their approach to water, and the challenges they face. To gather data for the report, NYFC surveyed 379 young farmers in the arid West and hosted eight focus groups (thank you to everyone who participated!). Survey respondents were asked questions about their chief agricultural concerns as well as their approach to water conservation and their engagement with and knowledge of water policy and government programs related to conservation. Here are a few of the key findings: Water, drought, and climate change are the top agricultural concerns of young farmers in the West. Eighty-two percent of survey respondents listed water availability/access as one of their concerns; Young farmers prioritize water conservation, and the vast majority (94%) are already conserving water; Building healthy soil is the most common on-farm water conservation strategy; Federal cost-share programs[...]Read More