My climate change plan: foster community

Casey distributes CSA shares. By Casey Holland, Red Tractor Farm Last season was different. A noticeable shift. And based on what I’ve heard from other farmers, they’ve noticed it too. A term that describes what’s happening is on our tongues: climate change. It is impacting our plans for next season as well as our outlook for the future. My plans will be based on which crops I’ve seen do the best last season with an awareness... Read More

I need more information: Balancing rain and irrigation

By Casey Holland, Red Tractor Farm The monsoons finally arrived in August. They were more than a month later than usual, but I am grateful for them all the same. It was apparent that everything growing in our fields was equally grateful for the reprieve from the oppressive summer heat. For the first time in almost two months, the temperature was consistently under 100 degrees for longer than a week. All of our crops were much greener and had a certain... Read More

Managing water: a new farmer and a very old acequia

A conversation with Nery Martinez, Santa Cruz Farm & Greenhouses Nery Martinez, who is originally from Guatemala, has been farming with his uncle, Don Bustos, at Santa Cruz Farm & Greenhouses in Española, New Mexico for more than five years. Nery is one of four young farmers/ranchers from Colorado and New Mexico who are blogging for NYFC about their experiences with water access. You can read Nery’s first post here. How does irrigation... Read More

When the heat doesn’t stop: adapting to climate change

By Casey Holland, Red Tractor Farm Heat. Some of the most intense heat you’ve ever felt. 100 degrees and climbing; sweat dripping out of every pore. In mid-July, I looked at the weather report and realized it would be 100+ all week. The heat had already lasted a month. The fields didn’t look much better than the heat felt. The plants were clearly stressed despite all the water they were getting. Nothing does well in that kind of heat. It... Read More

From droughts to contamination, our water supply is precarious

One of my partners, Dory, flood irrigating a field at Red Tractor Farm. We have an underground pipe from the turn out that takes the flood water directly from the ditch to our fields. By Casey Holland, Red Tractor Farm Where does our water come from? Too few of us in the United States ask this question as we turn on our faucets and partake in a seemingly limitless supply of clean drinking water. Some communities, such as Flint, Michigan, have recently... Read More

Meet Casey: “I’ve finally found the farm I hope to spend the rest of my life on”

Welcome to the arid West! For the next six months, four young farmers/ranchers from Colorado and New Mexico will be blogging about their experiences with water access and explaining everything from what it feels like to clean a 400-year-old acequia to how they’ve learned to make the most of the water they have through conservation and crop selection. To help you understand the terminology around water access, we’ve put together a short glossary... Read More

Meet Nery: “I never thought I was going to be a farmer”

  Welcome to the arid West! For the next six months, four young farmers/ranchers from Colorado and New Mexico will be blogging about their experiences with water access and explaining everything from what it feels like to clean a 400-year-old acequia to how they’ve learned to make the most of the water they have through conservation and crop selection. To help you understand the terminology around water access, we’ve put together a short... Read More

Western Water Profile: De Smet Dairy Farms

Mike De Smet is known for his friendly disposition, his inability to say no to a challenge, and a deeply ingrained love of dairy farming. De Smet grew up on the 125-acre dairy farm he now manages. But this is not his father’s dairy—he and his wife, Erica, have embarked on an ambitious and pioneering effort to build New Mexico’s first, and only, USDA certified organic, raw, grass fed dairy farm. De Smet started learning the dairy trade as soon... Read More

Western Farmers Kicking into Gear with two Upcoming Farmer Events

  Two amazing events are coming up for young farmers!  Want to organize something in your area?  Get in touch with us (organize@youngfarmers.org) – we’d love to work with you on it. DURANGO, CO: This Thursday, Durango, CO will host a local foods potluck and gathering to discuss the Southwest Growers Alliance that’s been brewing up a lot of excitement in area farmers.  Those who come will talk about the local food distribution... Read More

Join the young farmer events in your area!

As we move into Spring, young farmer potlucks, meetings, and gatherings are popping up like wildflowers all over the country.  Today we want to highlight just a few, and give you some inspiration to start organizing in your region! In Albuquerque, NM, the brand-new Rio Grande Farmers’ Coalition is having its first annual Spring Farm Social.  Young and new farmers, as well as more experienced farmers and advocates, will celebrate the start... Read More