Here at NYFC, we think farmers should be spending the summer fighting weeds, fixing fences and growing food—not worrying about student debt and untenable leases. In this July newsletter, we’ll tell you about two exciting campaigns NYFC is taking on: tackling student loan debt and fighting for affordable land. Plus, see us at the White House and read updates on federal programs and local events.

   Is Student Debt Keeping You From Farming?          

Americans are carrying more student loan debt than ever before. Approximately 37 million people have student loan debt– on average $24,301. This adds up to roughly one trillion dollars in total outstanding debt. Paying all of this debt is an enormous burden. Between 2004 and 2009, only 37% of borrowers were able to make timely payments on all their loans.

As a coalition of young farmers, we know first-hand that student debt is a major obstacle to starting a farming career. College students who graduated in 2008 and went into agriculture as their primary occupation were still carrying, on average, over $11,000 in debt four years later. For some people, student loans create barriers to accessing the credit that a beginning farm needs. For others, student loans prevent borrowers from entering farming at all. 

We’re gearing up to take on the issue of student loan debt and need to hear from you! If student loan debt has affected your ability to farm, we want to hear your story. Click below to tell us!

surveymonkey.com/s/StudentLoanStories

White House Names NYFC a “Champion of Change” for the Future of Agriculture

Today, the White House will be honoring a group of leaders from across the country who are working to strengthen the young and beginning farmer movement. Among the honorees is NYFC Co-founder and Executive Director, Lindsey Lusher Shute.

Lindsey will be at the White House alongside a diverse group of other honorees including: Ryan and Tiffany Batalden, young farmers growing organic grain in Minnesota; Fabiola Nizigiyimana, a Burundian refugee farmer based in eastern Massachusetts; Desiree Wineland, a US Army veteran farming in Nebraska; and Jesus Rodriguez, an aspiring young farmer and son of immigrants in California.

The event will be streamed live beginning at 10am today,Tuesday July 29th, 2014, at www.whitehouse.gov/live. For full profiles of the honorees being honored at this “Champions of Change” event, see www.whitehouse.gov/champions.

5 Farm Bill Program Changes You Should Know About

In the 2014 Farm Bill, several USDA programs were changed to benefit beginning farmers and ranchers. These changes have already taken affect – all you need to do is ask about them at your local FSA or NRCS office!

FSA Elections

Across the country, local county commissions for the Farm Service Agency (FSA) are taking nominations for new members. These commissions are critical to the operation of the FSA as they help determine how programs are administered on the local level and ensure local needs are met, including those of young farmers. Learn more about how you can get involved.

NYFC Launches Land Access Page and Class for Land Trusts

We think land trusts have a big role to play in ensuring American farmland stays in production and in the hands of farmers. To increase their capacity to help farmers find affordable farmland, we are partnering with Equity Trust to hold a national training and working group focused on farmland affordability tools and implementation this fall in Providence, Rhode Island. Land trusts from across the country will come together to learn from mentor organizations already using these innovative strategies and leave prepared to start incorporating them into their own farmland conservation programs.

You can find out more about the land trust training and all of our land access work on our new land access webpage. We will be updating the page with resources, case studies, and policy advocacy news as our work develops!

Events

West

Nevada City, CA – July 31  Nevada County Farmers Guild, First Rain Farm, 19832 Rector Rd. Nevada City, CA, starts at 6pm, www.farmersguild.org

Grass Valley, CA – July 31 Nevada County Farmers Guild, 14805 Auburn Rd, Sweet Roots Farm, 6pm, www.farmersguild.org

Sebastopol, CA – August 5 North Coast Farmers Guild, 6000 Sebastopol Ave, Sebastopol Grange Hall, 6pm, www.farmersguild.orgCaspar, CA – August 12 Mendocino Coast Farmers Guild, Caspar Community Center, 15051 Caspar Rd, Caspar, CA, starts at 6pm, www.farmersguild.org

Morrison, CO – August 18th NYFC @ Jack Johnson concert, Red Rocks Ampitheatre, 18300 W Alameda Pkwy, Morrison, CO 80401.

Northeast

Jamestown, RI – July 30 Young Farmer Nights, Windmist Farm 71 Weeden Lane, Jamestown, RI, starts at 6pm. Windmist Farm is a beautiful diversified livestock farm in Jamestown! youngfarmernetwork.org

Amherst, MA- August 8-10 NYFC @ NOFA Summer Conference at UMASS Amherst, Find us in the exhibition tent and at the Beginning Farmer Meet Up on Saturday from 5-6pm on the lawn.

Rehoboth, MA – August 11 Young Farmer Nights, Rosasharn 57 County Street, Rehoboth, MA, starts at 6pm.  A perennial YFN favorite! Goats. Vegetables. Tree house. youngfarmernetwork.org

Colchester, CT – August 17 New Connecticut Farmer Alliance, Cato Corner Farm Tour and Potluck, tour 4 to 6pm, potluck 6 to 8pm, 178 Cato Corner Road www.catocornerfarm.com, www.newctfarmers.com

Cranston, RI – August 27 Young Farmer Nights, Scratch Farm 35 Pippin Orchard Road, Cranston, RI, starts at 6pm. Scratch Farm, located at Urban Edge in Cranston, is a 2-acre diversified vegetable operation. We’ll walk the field and hear about Scratch’s seed saving practices from the proprietor of Small State Seeds herself.  youngfarmernetwork.org

Clermont, NY- August 28 Hudson Valley Young Farmers Coalition, Summer Mixer at Hearty Roots Community Farm. For more info: sophie@youngfarmers.org

Midwest

Jamestown, MO – August 3 Missouri Young Farmers Coalition, Mid-Summer Mixer at Happy HollowFarm, 17199 Happy Hollow Rd, Jamestown, MO. 2-5pm Mini Crop Mob, 5-late live music, local beer, farm fresh food! More info: Liz Graznak egraznak@gmail.com.  happyhollowfarm-mo.com

South

Austin, TX – August 20 Texas Young Farmers Coalition Hang Out @ Black Star Coop! 7020 Easy Wind Dr, Suite 100, Austin, Texas, starts at 7pm.  Join TXYFC at the Black Star Coop Pub and Brewery every 3rd Wednesday of the month for some of the delicious brews and eats. Very casual.

Austin, TX – TXYFC Bookclub, Join us in our first bookclub selection and meetup! We will be reading Grass, Soil, Hope: A journey through carbon country by Courtney White. Get in touch with us if you are interested in participating! lorigh@gmail.com

In Solidarity,

Lindsey, Sophie, Holly, Kate, Eric, Sarah, Debbie, Wes and Daniel

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Copyright ©  2014 National Young Farmers Coalition. All rights reserved. 



NATIONAL YOUNG FARMERS COALITION

PO BOX 1074, Hudson, New York 12534

 

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    July News: NYFC at White House, Student Debt on the Agenda, FSA Elections, Land Trust Ed : National Young Farmers Coalition



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