In 2019, I will resign as founding executive director of the National Young Farmers Coalition to become the founding CEO of the new Farm Generations Cooperative. This new agricultural cooperative, built by and for members of the National Young Farmers Coalition, will help independent farmers become more competitive through software and appropriate technology.
This transition is a significant change for all of us, and for me personally. Helping to build this vibrant and growing organization has been a joy and a privilege. Together, we have shared in victories and defeats. We have learned from mistakes, and brought bold ideas to the national spotlight. We have held strong under pressure, and found our footing through stubborn perseverance and shared values. From our first days as a team, with Sophie and Wes working together in my farm’s living room, to heading our current team of 25 staff in 6 states, and our expanding network of 41 chapters around the country, my life has been shaped by ten years of work with incredible people. Thank you for your trust and support through it all.
So many of you have stepped up to lead with me along the way – my co-founders, our board of directors, our staff, our chapter leaders throughout the country, and individual farmers who have raised their voices to build a better future for agriculture. These voices—your voice—is our true strength, and we have never been louder.
As we read the recent climate reports, and see the rise of rural poverty, the increase in diet-related disease, and the crash of biodiversity, we know that the state of agriculture grows more important by the day. This work means so much more than the modest income it provides. Our labor is for the land, our country, and our planet.
This week we recognize new political leaders, next week we uplift new chapter leaders at our National Leadership Convergence, and early next year we will welcome new Coalition leadership. It is a time of change and possibility. I encourage you to embrace it, and to step-up to our shared potential to change the course of agriculture.
We need each other in this fight, and we need this Coalition. Help us keep it strong and growing. As members, this responsibility is yours. If you haven’t joined yet, please do.
Our majority-farmer board of directors is starting a formal search for a new executive director. Please spread the word and stay tuned for updates on how to get involved with Farm Generations as we work to launch in 2019.
Lindsey Lusher Shute, Co-founder and Executive Director
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