Bootstrap @ Nightfall Farm – When You Have A Job To Do

Nightfall - training pic - with lambThis blog was in danger of sounding like an acceptance speech where I list off all the names of the people responsible for me being in a position to run a farm. I can’t separate the lessons I have learned from the people who taught me. So to really talk about my training to be a farmer, I’ll pretend it was a planned out education instead of just happening. (more…)

August News: Jobs, Climate March, Water Innovation, Events

We’ve been on the road this summer, crop mobbing with the Missouri Young Farmers Coalition, talking shop with first-generation organic grain farmers in Montana, and square dancing with the Washington Young Farmers Coalition. All along the way, we’re collecting stories for our campaigns and building a stronger young farmer movement. Want to see us in action? Follow the NYFC Instragram! (more…)

New York’s Young Farmers Ask Governor Cuomo to Support Land Access Legislation

Gov. Cuomo speaking on a farm in Middleburgh, NY in 2011. Photo: Office of Gov. Cuomo

Governor Cuomo speaking on a farm in Middleburgh, NY in 2011. Photo: Office of Governor Cuomo

Farmers, aspiring farmers, and organizations across New York State are rallying to urge Governor Cuomo to pass a bill that would improve land access for beginning farmers in the state.

If passed, this bill could provide access to state-owned farmland for beginning farmers, bolster technical support to both beginning farmers and organizations that assist them with land transfer, and reduce the likelihood of state-owned farmland being developed. (more…)

USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Programs by the Numbers

USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) funds the construction of hoop houses such as this one. (Photo courtesy of USDA)

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) funds the construction of hoop houses such as this one. (Photo courtesy of USDA)

Last month, USDA hosted an event honoring the White House’s Future of American Agriculture Champions of Change, including NYFC’s own Lindsey Lusher Shute. This event recognized the need for young farmers and highlighted USDA resources targeted at these farmers in particular. (more…)

New Reports Outline Steps Needed to Build an Inclusive Food System

Report Cover

One of the new reports from the Center for Social Inclusion

In U.S. agriculture, there is a long history of discrimination against minority populations and women. For many years, these groups were purposefully excluded from Farm Service Agency (FSA) programs in their own communities. A series of class action lawsuits, most notably Pigford v. Glickman, brought these practices to an end. (more…)

Dirt Works Incubator Farm: Building Land Access and Community in South Carolina

A Growers Group Farmer Training at Dirt Works Incubator Farm. Photo by Nikki Seibert, Lowcountry Local First.

Beginning farmers are finding a new way to get on the land in South Carolina with the help of a local non-profit called Lowcountry Local First (LLF).

In 2012, LLF welcomed farmers to South Carolina’s first incubator farm – Dirt Works Incubator, which is located just outside of Charleston. The newest post from Southern Terroir, a monthly blog featuring the unique products and producers from the American South, details the plants, farmers, and community that are thriving on the farm. (more…)

Sustaining Farming in the Arid West: Stories of young farmers, water and resilience

FARMERS ADAPT TO DROUGHT AND INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY

New Report Highlights Innovative Drought Mitigation & Water Savings by Six Farmers in Four Colorado River Basin States

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August 14th, 2014

Download report (PDF)

DURANGO, CO – The National Young Farmers Coalition released a report today highlighting innovative farmers who are adapting to record drought in the arid Southwest. “Sustaining Farming in the Arid West: Stories of young farmers, water and resilience,” demonstrates how Western farmers are saving water, stewarding the land and enhancing productivity in increasingly dry times. (more…)

Tell Us Your Student Loan Story!

NYT article on farmer financial problemsFarmers across the country are responding to the opinion piece in this weekend’s New York Times: “Don’t Let Your Children Grow Up To Be Farmers.” It resonates.

We agree that many growers aren’t yet making a living, and we hope that you feel proud to be part of a coalition of farmers and consumers organizing for change. (more…)

Bootstrap @ Nightfall Farm – Building a Farm from Scratch

Nighfall - seed drillThe differences between working on an established farm and starting your own were evident this month. Rather than learning the ropes and falling into developed routines, we’re recreating some systems that have worked on other farms. We’re solving problems unique to our farm. We’re spending a lot of time cobbling together equipment and systems. And often, that costs money.

The animal groups we are raising this year afford us the luxury of not needing big equipment. We rely on temporary electric net fencing powered by solar chargers. We are taxing our family well while we wait for the funds to dig a well dedicated to our pasture. We drive a 1989 Ford F250 to pick up feed from the mill, deliver chickens to the processor, and move our hay wagon/shade shelter/water tank around the field.

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Whitehouse.gov Guest Post – Bringing Young Americans Back to the Farm

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2014 Future of American Agriculture Champions of Change, at a White House ceremony.

This post, by NYFC’s Lindsey Lusher Shute, was originally published on whitehouse.gov, where Lindsey has been named a Future of American Agriculture Champion of Change.

With record farmland prices, climate instability, and an agricultural economy often working against them, today’s young farmers and ranchers are all Champions of Change. They are taking tremendous personal and financial risks to feed the country and build a healthy food system.

I am proud to count myself among the nation’s new farmers and to represent my peers through the National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC). I co-founded NYFC in 2010 to represent, mobilize, and engage young farmers to ensure their success. We are shaping a country where young people who are willing to work hard, get trained, and be entrepreneurial can support themselves and their families in farming. Along with strong local networks and farm services, we believe that access to land, capital, and relief from student loan debt are critical to this goal.

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