In our first monthly update of the year, we have lots of news to share from our snowbound headquarters in Hudson, NY: new staff, new board members, new advisors, and a new guidebook! We also have updates on #FarmingIsPublicService, a rundown of events and conferences, and a reminder about our money-saving member benefits as you order your seeds and supplies.

NEW GUIDE RELEASED FOR FINDING FARMLAND

NYFC was founded by a group of farmers who were struggling to find affordable farmland to start and grow their businesses. Five years later, we know that accessing farmland is still one of the biggest obstacles young farmers face.

The good news is that there is a growing movement of land trusts working to keep farmland in the hands of farmers. We have been working closely with groups across the country to support these efforts. We’re excited to have released a new resource designed specifically to help farmers connect and partner with land trusts – A Farmer’s Guide to Working with Land Trusts.

This guidebook illustrates the possibilities for potential partnership with a land trust and offers practical information and tools for both approaching your land trust and building the relationship.

STUDENT LOAN CAMPAIGN BUILDS MOMENTUM

Our #FarmingIsPublicService campaign is picking up steam! We’re calling for farmers to be added to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. If added to the program, farmers who make 10 years of income-based payments on their student loans would see the balance of their loans forgiven – just like doctors, nurses, teachers, and government employees. In DC, we have been meeting with Congressional offices and gathering support. Our bill will be introduced later this year. We are now looking for campaign partners. If you work with an organization that wants to help, email eric@youngfarmers.org.  

It’s not too late to get involved! On our campaign website, you can read farmer stories and tell us your own student loan story. These personal accounts on how student loans impact your ability to farm are critical in helping us make a strong case in DC.

 

NYFC GROWS ITS TEAM

Over the past six months, NYFC has added some incredible individuals to our roster of staff, board members and advisors, and we aren’t done yet. Please join us in welcoming our newest teammates: staff members Leanna Mulvihill and Derek Denckla; board members Brian Depew, Clayton Harvey, Jacqueline Lewin and Nicole Shore; and advisory council members Mark Justh, Michel Nischan, Andrew Rotherham and Karen Washington.  Welcome to our team! Read their full bios on the blog.

 

ARE YOU GETTING YOUR NYFC SEED & GEAR DISCOUNTS?

As you buy your seeds, tools and gear for the upcoming season, don’t forget that NYFC members SAVE BIG. Join us for just $20 for the year, or $3 a month and save:

10% off at High Mowing Organic Seeds

5% off at Johnny’s Selected Seeds

35% off at Chelsea Green Publishing

33% off Growing for Market (including print!)

10% off FarmTek and Growers Supply

10% off Working Person Store

Join today!

Already a member and need updated codes? Email sophie@youngfarmers.org

 

NYFC IS COMING TO A CONFERENCE NEAR YOU

It’s conference season!

There’s nothing like face-to-face time with like-minded farmers who are at a similar stage in their farm careers. We love creating opportunities for making friends at farming conferences. Thanks to everyone who has joined us thus far.

At the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association Conference in Greenville, SC in November, we presented strategies for land access and then gathered everyone to drink homemade ale at the Blue Ridge Brewing Co.  NYFC teamed up with Quivira’s New Agrarian Program as well as our local affiliate chapter Rio Grande Farmers Coalition to host a New Agrarian Career Connections event and social, bringing together farmers with prospective mentors and employers. At the Stone Barns Young Farmers Conference in New York, we led a session on how to start an NYFC chapter in your home region—and then contra danced the night away.

At the Southern SAWG conference in Mobile, AL, the Louisiana Young Farmers Coalition gained serious traction with a planning meeting of over 30 farmers. Later that night we gathered 120 farmers from 12 states at Grand Central Bar in downtown Mobile. At the NOFA-NY conference in Saratoga Springs, NY we energized the crowd at our farmer mixer with a screening of our new film, “Young Farmers Speak Up.” At the PASA conference we convened farmers in the “Young Farmer Lounge” for lunch with Clara Coleman and Jean-Martin Fortier, followed by a rallying meeting of the Pennsylvania Young Farmers Coalition. And Lindsey led a keynote on the economic challenges facing new growers at Future Harvest CASA.

Want to bring NYFC to your conference? Email sophie@youngfarmers.org.

 

EVENTS

Brooklyn, NY February 19th Young Farmer Winter Supper

Fundraiser for NYFC and premier of our Bootstrap Farmer Films at Wythe Hotel presented by Etsy and Stonyfield – www.youngfarmers.org/wintersupper

Las Vegas, NV February 19 Family Farm Alliance annual conference

RESILIENT film screening and water stewardship panel

Hartford, CT February 20th: New CT Farmers Alliance 2nd Annual Meeting and Hootenany
5-10pm at The Dirt Salon – www.newctfarmers.com, or click here for more info.

Athens, GA February 20th: Southeastern Young and Beginning Farmers Alliance Young Farmer Mixer at Georgia Organics 

7:30pm at The World Famous.  Click here for more info.

Albuquerque, NM February 20th-21st New Mexico Organic Farming Conference
Visit us at the NYFC booth! Be sure to stay for the Career Connections & Farmer/Rancher Social.  Click here for the details.
Albuquerque, NM February 20 6-8pm New Agrarian Career Connection & Farmer/Rancher Social
Join us as new or beginning agrarians or as a prospective mentor/employer. Held during the NM Organic Farming Conference, Pyramid Hotel. Please RSVP here. Co-hosted by the Quivira Coalition, NYFC and affiliate chapter Rio Grande Farmers Coalition. Featuring Skarsgard Farm Cider, Snacks, Live music by Boris McCutcheon & The Salt Licks.
Denver, CO February 21st 9am-6pm Front Range Beginning Farmers Conference & Young Farmer Mixer 
A day filled with workshops and panels for the beginning small-scale farmer. Followed by a social hour. Tickets are nearly sold-out – RSVP today! Co-hosted by NYFC, Denver Botanic Gardens and Rocky Mountain Farmers Union.
La Crosse, WI February 26-28th MOSES Conference
Come visit our booth and join us for a New Farmer Mixer – Friday 6:30pm at the New Farmer Lounge on the Concourse by the New Organic Stewards and NYFC booths. Click here for the details.
Brooklyn, NY February 27th-March 1st Food And Enterprise Summit
Join us for a social impact summit fostering community + collaboration among entrepreneurs, farmers, consultants and funders to finance a better food system in North East. Farmers use discount code “FARMER50” to receive $50 off already low Startup Registration of $149 for a 3-day summit.  Register Here!
Corvallis, OR February 28th 5-11pm SFC Hootenanny!
Join us after the annual Oregon State University Small Farms Conference for good food, local beverages, a rockin’ raffle, and awesome dancin’ tunes! Tickets $15 until 2/15, $20 2/16-2/27, and $25 day-of. Tickets available at tinyurl.com/sfchootenanny
Durango, CO February 28th 8:30-1:30 7th Annual Homegrown Food Retreat 
All community members from the four-corners are invited to participate in this years’ food retreat: Hungry for Change?: An interactive conversation mapping the gaps in our local food system and collaborating to ensure that all families have access to healthy, affordable food in our community. Food access mapping, presentations and facilitated breakout groups. La Plata County Fairgrounds.
Durango, CO February 28th 5pm RESILIENT screening with La Plata County 4H
Following the Food Retreat, join us for a screening of NYFC’s short film “Resilient” highlighting water stewardship practices in western Colorado. Stay for a panel discussion with young farmers from NYFC’s local chapter, 4H/FFA and others who are practicing water stewardship on their farm or ranch. La Plata County Fairgrounds. Email Greg Felsen for more info Gregory.Felsen@co.laplata.co.us
Portland, OR March 2nd 9:30-4:30 Six Figure Farming Workshop with Jean-Martin Fortier
Join FarmON! Oregon & Jean Martin Fortier for a day-long workshop on successful small plot farming practices! Jean Martin is a true rockstar farmer who has been touring the states sharing his unique market farming model. $45 for workshop. BYO lunch with option to purchase ($10). Tickets are going fast! Get yours today at tinyurl.com/farmonjeanmartin
San Diego, CA March 4th-8th Permaculture Voices 2 
More information at permaculturevoices.com/
La Junta, CO March 5-6 3rd Annual Land Link Forum & Farmer Social
Looking for land or for someone to farm or ranch your land? This might be where you find your land link. In addition, learn farm succession planning, network with service providers, and tour local farms. Stay for the farmer social. Excelsior farmers exchange. 1516 Asbury Ln, Boone, CO. Email coloradolandlink@guidestonecolorado.org
La Junta, CO March 5 6:30-8:30 Farmer Social
Stay after the first day of the Land Link Forum for the farmer social. Boss Hoggs, 808 E. 3rd St., La Junta, CO. Email coloradolandlink@guidestonecolorado.org for more information.
Anaheim, CA March 6th-8th Natural Products Expo West
NYFC will be tabling at the largest natural foods expo in the country! More info at expowest.com
Rising Sun, MD March 7th-8th 10am 1st Annual Maryland Young Farmers Summit
Calling all young farmers in Southeast PA, MD, DE and DC. We invite you to connect, learn and laugh with other farmers to begin building a community that addresses our shared challenges. @ Flying Plow Farm. Camping available. Questions and RSVP to Brittany at shherbs@gmail.com

Pleasant Hill, OR March 21st 1-4pm Market Farming Tool Workshop
Join FarmON! Oregon & Excelsior Farm for a comprehensive look at Market Farming Tools. Jeremy & Ashli will lead us on a tour of their market garden, and then dig into the specifics of market farming tools, including the greens harvester, BCS tillers & attachments, and various hand tools. FREE event. Bring your questions! RSVP required: do so at tinyurl.com/farmontoolws
Salem, OR March 30th 9:30-2 Farmer & Rancher Day at the State Capitol
Raise your farmer voices! Join us for a day of education, civic engagement, and a rally on the capitol steps! If you have been looking to engage in state ag policy, this is the event for you! To learn more and RSVP (required), click here.
And check out the Farmers Guild monthly meet-ups in Sebastopol, Mendocino, Nevada County, Sonoma Valley, San Luis Obispo, Yolo, Mendocino Coast, Capay Valley, and Petaluma at farmersguild.org

In Solidarity,

Lindsey and the NYFC team

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