Why Young?

NYFC is focused on supporting America’s next generation of sustainable farmers and ranchers. We use “young farmers” to include all people who are kicking off a career in agriculture, typically in their first 10 years of growing. That includes anyone from a first-year farm apprentice to someone pursuing a mid-life career change to agriculture.  America can use as many new farmers as we can get!

NYFC advisory board 2012We use the term “young” to grab the attention of our policy makers. When young people band together to fight for policies that support them, Washington responds.  Many of the most successful social movements in history were in part driven by young people, and the food movement is no exception.   Some of our affiliate groups prefer “beginning” over “young,” but we see the two as nearly synonymous; whether you’re actually young or young at heart, NYFC is right for you!

As a diverse and dynamic coalition, NYFC is composed not only of young farmers, but also of established farmers, farm service providers, good food advocates and conscious consumers. Everyone has a stake in the future of agriculture in this country, and we’re excited for you to join us in tackling the barriers beginning farmers face in establishing their farm businesses.

16 Responses to “Why Young?”
  1. Michele Denise says:

    Aloha, I just want to encourage you to recruit someone from the Puna district on the Big Island, Hawaii. I am blessed to be able to live in this beautiful place. There are many small organic farms and eco-villages here but they are under threat of geo-thermal plant developers and the continuing problem of Hawaii importing 80+% of its food when it can obviously be a self-sustaining island if its farmers were better supported. I am a board member of the Hawaii Sustainable Community Alliance -we are mainly working to change the building and zoning codes to allow for alternative-green building and eco-village living through a Sustainable Living Research Bill. I am also a graduate student at Hawaii Pacific University working on a Masters in Global Leadership and Sustainable Development. Please contact me for more information if you are interested.

  2. Wes says:

    Hi Michele,
    Thanks for getting in touch with us – it sounds like you are doing some great work to support local agriculture yourself! I will be in touch with you via email, as we’d love to work with you on organizing a young farmers coalition of Hawaii.

  3. Wes says:

    Hi Umeh,
    We’d be glad to have you as a part of the coalition. You can join by going to youngfarmers.org/join. You can learn more about what it means to be a member by going to youngfarmers.org/become-a-member-of-nyfc/.
    If you’re interested in working with us to organize a local coalition in your area, please email us directly at organize@youngfarmers.org.

  4. Eric says:

    Do you allow international members to join?… am from Kenya

  5. Wes says:

    Hi Eric,
    Yes we do – thanks for asking! You can join at http://www.youngfarmers.org/international-membership
    Send us an email if you have any trouble or questions – info@youngfarmers.org.

  6. Mya says:

    I’ve always wanted to be an organic farmer.
    tired of living in the city, need a life change, what better than to grow organic food for people?
    any advice, help, friendship would be so appreciated
    love and respect to all food producers :)

  7. Walter says:

    Just a thought as a not young person): The term young might discourage some older people from joining. “Young at heart” is nice but not very useful in attracting people. Also, are you organic (regenerative, sustainable, or whatever synonym is now in use?) I hope so.


  8. Walter says:

    Is NYFC organic?

  9. Wes says:

    Hi Walter, thanks for getting in touch with us. Yes, NYFC is absolutely focused on sustainable farming practices. You can check out our mission statement here:

  10. Jane Davison says:

    Hello –
    We are starting a food council in Morrisville NC with the objective/mission being to ensure that all people have access to locally grown, healthy food. We would like to have a farmer on our board. Could someone please contact me or have a local farmer in my area contact me? I think it could be mutually beneficial to all parties/ a win-win. I found your organization when I attended the Farm Aid concert in Raleigh last Saturday.
    Jane Davison

  11. Cecille Madriz says:

    I have been so lucky to get a new job this year here in California. Essentially I will be operating a greenhouse, which I can do but I have no experience growing organically is there a group out here that I can join?

  12. Wes says:

    Hi Cecille-
    Yes there are! Please check out our directory here: http://www.youngfarmers.org/chapter-directory
    Best of luck!

  13. Adam Strong says:

    My wife Balong and I (Billabay Farms) will be starting our farms first year this year we are focusing on Pasture raised eggs, meats. We are located in Maysville GA. We have been growing our own vegetables for our family of 7 (5 boys) for 8 years now, We have signed up for the Sustainable Small farm Summit online and saw your information. Thank you for being available. I don’t see GA Chapter? maybe in the works or Future?

    Adam Strong

  14. Wes says:

    Hi Adam,
    Thanks for reaching out to us! You can either connect with the Southeast Young and Beginning Farmers Alliance (facebook.com/SeYoungAndBeginningFarmersAlliance), or get in touch with us about organizing directly – you can reach Sophie, our National Field Director, at sophie@youngfarmers.org.


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  1. […] to start careers in agriculture. Play a big role in beginning farmers’ careers by joining the National Young Farmers Coalition, the National Farmers Union, Young Professionals for Agricultural Development, and Farmer to […]

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