Rogue Farm Corps Recruits Aspiring Farmers for their Hands-on Education and Mentoring Programs

Planting at Rogue Farm CorpsFarming is a tough business, and beginning farmers need hands-on experience and mentoring before they can successfully take on a commercial operation. Finding that experience and mentoring can be a significant challenge, and it’s at the heart of why Rogue Farm Corps (RFC) was created. The Oregon-based nonprofit was founded in 2003 by first generation organic farmers in their twenties and thirties who themselves had been mentored and considered it critical to their success. They noticed that many older farmers were retiring without anyone to take over their businesses, while young, inexperienced farmers didn’t know how to get started in commercial farming. RFC’s Executive Director Stu O’Neill says the organization was born from the desire to give beginning farmers access to mentors and in-field training. (more…)

Introducing Rose Robson and Robson’s Farm LLC of North Hanover, NJ

We’re excited to publish a new Farmer Profile of an inspiring beginning farmer every few weeks on the NYFC blog to help showcase the breadth and vision of the next generation of agricultural leaders.  This one is from Rose Robson of Robson’s Farm LLC of North Hanover, NJ.

Robsons Farm - RoseMy mom had originally thought I would build a house and board some horses on the 40 acres of preserved farmland she kept from my family’s original 1,200 acre fruit and vegetable operation.

And she couldn’t have been more wrong.
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Introducing Eliza Greenman, Owner/Operator of Legacy Fruit Trees in Virginia

Eliza Greenman

Eliza Greenman

Up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Southwestern Virginia, I am the owner of a small fruit tree company, Legacy Fruit Trees- where I specialize in custom grafting and growing hard cider apple varieties (for now). This year, my first year, I’ve pre-sold 4000 trees which I’ll graft, grow, dig and ship in the coming months. Two days a week, I manage Foggy Ridge Cider’s 18-year-old, 8 acre hard cider orchard which contains 40 varieties of apples noted by people like Thomas Jefferson for making the highest quality cider. (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.
DeSmet pic 1De Smet started learning the dairy trade as soon as he was big enough to work in the barn. Like many children of farming families, he was encouraged to go to college and seek a career off the farm. In college in Florida, Mike found himself skipping class to go help in the dairy barns at the university. He says after several times of opting out of his collegial responsibilities to help with artificial insemination, he realized just how much he loved being a dairy farmer. (more…)

Introducing Fork Right Farm of Indiana

We’re excited to publish a new Farmer Profile of an inspiring beginning farmer every few weeks on the NYFC blog to help showcase the breadth and vision of the next generation of agricultural leaders.  This one is from Matt Hountz of Fork Right Farm in Indiana.

Fork Right Farm - pic 3Fork Right Farm is a multi-generational startup farm, founded in 2013, currently focusing on pasture raised pork. Involved in the operation are Matt and Sharlena Hountz and their two boys, Will age 2 and Keegan age 1.  Also involved are Matt’s parents, Jim and Karen Hountz.  For many years we have had large gardens supplying our families and friends with a variety of vegetables and produce.  In 2013 Matt ventured into the world of feeder hogs and enjoyed raising 3 for our families.  If we had raised 10 we could have sold them after word got out that we were successfully raising them on pasture. In the fall of 2013 we purchased our registered old-line Duroc breeding stock. (more…)

Introducing Fresh Start Organic Garden at the Stetson School in Barre, MA

We’re excited to publish a new Farmer Profile of an inspiring beginning farmer every few weeks on the NYFC blog to help showcase the breadth and vision of the next generation of agricultural leaders.  This one is from Shawn Ilinitch of the Stetson School’s Fresh Start Organic Garden in Barre, MA.

Fresh Start - ShawnLast year, I kind of fell into (love with) farming by accident. (more…)

Introducing Caitlin and Jason of Sobremesa in Fairfield, VT

Sobremesa 1We’re excited to publish a new Farmer Profile of an inspiring beginning farmer every few weeks on the NYFC blog to help showcase the breadth and vision of the next generation of agricultural leaders.

Sobremesa begins this season under the stewardship of husband and wife team, Jason and Caitlin Rodriguez, on land at Stony Pond Farm in Fairfield, Vermont. We will grow vegetables and herbs on one-twelfth of an acre and tomatoes and hot peppers in a hoophouse. Each crop can be preserved into a marketable product such as fermented vegetables, dried herbs and canned goods.

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Introducing Courtney Leeds of Schoolyard Farms in Milwaukie, OR

We’re excited to publish a new Farmer Profile of an inspiring beginning farmer every few weeks on the NYFC blog to help showcase the breadth and vision of the next generation of agricultural leaders.

Schoolyard Farms - teaching about fish

Teaching the kids how to fish-in transplants

I’m Courtney Leeds, cofounder & director of Schoolyard Farms, a one acre urban farm in the schoolyard of Candy Lane Elementary in Milwaukie, OR.

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Farmer Profile: Introducing Rock Paper Scissors Goat Dairy of Cummington, MA

Rock Paper Scissors Goat Dairy pic 3Partners Angie Arahood and Lee Lewis are launching Rock Paper Scissors Goat Dairy, a goat micro­dairy selling Certified Grade A raw milk in Cummington, MA. 

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Introducing Hewitt Farms of Le Sueuer, MN

Hewitt Farm pic 2Mark and Sara Hewitt of Cleveland, MN are part owners and operators of Hewitt Farms out of Le Sueur, MN, in southern Minnesota.  On the farm they raise cash crops like corn, soybeans, and last year tried winter wheat as a cover crop for the first time.  

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