Right now, Congress is deciding on what will be included in the 2023 Farm Bill. This is our best opportunity to advocate for resources that will support young and Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) farmers in building successful careers and long-term sustainability on their farms in the face of a changing climate.
It is a moment for action. You can advocate for a brighter future for young farmers and learn more about our policy priorities by visiting our Farm Bill Action Center.
Farmers across the U.S. are dealing with the impacts of the climate crisis every day, and barriers like cost, insecure land access, and lack of technical assistance also make it challenging for them to adopt conservation practices. As a result, many farmers rely on each other for mentorship and support.
According to the 2022 National Young Farmer Survey, 84% of young farmers learned to farm by working on a farm or ranch, and 62% of respondents learned from a mentor or someone in their community. We need policy solutions that support the resources farmers already provide each other.
Young Farmers and the American Farmland Trust (AFT) are excited to partner with Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) and Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) on the bipartisan Farmer to Farmer Education Act (S.2614), which would leverage existing technical assistance resources to support farmer-led education networks in the next farm bill.
In addition to resourcing farmer-led education networks, young and BIPOC farmers should be able to access technical and business support from the USDA directly.
We also worked with partners in the Senate to introduce theSmall Farm Conservation Act (S.2180), which would streamline the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), USDA’s flagship program that supports on-farm conservation. This bill aims to make it easier for beginning farmers to access financial support and technical assistance. The bill will strengthen the capacity of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to meet the needs of young farmers and ranchers by funding dedicated staff and simplifying application processes.
On July 20th, Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) introduced the Increasing Land Access, Security, and Opportunities Act (H.R.3955, S.2340) in the Senate. This is another huge step forward for our One Million Acres for the Future campaign which is calling for a historic investment in equitable land access, and it builds on the momentum of the bill’s introduction in the House on June 9th.
Join us in moving this bill forward by taking our action–tell your members of Congress to support this groundbreaking legislation. Now is a critical time to help us spread the word, share the action alert with your networks, and raise awareness with your members as they are back in their districts for August recess!
WANT TO BE MORE INVOLVED IN THE COALITION?
Curious to learn more about Young Farmers and how to get involved as a farmer leader? Join us for a virtual meet and greet with members of our organizing team on August 28, 2023 at 4pmET to hear about our current campaigns and upcoming advocacy opportunities.
CHECK OUT THE LATEST EPISODE OF
THE YOUNG FARMERS PODCAST
In the second episode of our 2023 Farm Bill series, we focus on the number one challenge facing young and BIPOC farmers today: land access. Dãnia Davy, Director of Land Retention and Advocacy at the Federation of Southern Cooperatives, talks with us about the legacy of racial discrimination in agriculture and how the farm bill can play a role in increasing land access for young and BIPOC farmers.
Until the end of October, farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners who experienced discrimination in USDA’s farm lending programs prior to January 1, 2021 can apply for financial assistance through Section 22007 of the Inflation Reduction Act. Eligible applicants are those who have a history of farming or attempting to farm, and experienced discrimination in USDA farm lending or hold an assigned or assumed USDA farm loan that was the subject of USDA discrimination. Farmers are encouraged to apply via the e-filing portal at 22007apply.gov or to submit forms via mail or in-person delivery to the program’s local offices.
Contact our FSA Technical Assistant, Shakera Raygoza, at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more or to request technical assistance completing an application.
YOUNG FARMERS IS HIRING
Young Farmers is hiring a Pennsylvania Organizer to support farmers in the state with engaging in our federal campaigns and work closely with Pennsylvania chapters, members, and organizational partners to develop farmer leadership and advocacy expertise to build and shift power for structural change in the 2023 Farm Bill and win policy change for an equitable and sustainable farm future.
WELCOME NEW STAFF!
We’re excited to welcome National Organizing Director, Kelsey Watson, and Finance Coordinator, Okra Kyser, to the Young Farmers team! Read more about our staff and their work here.
NATIONAL FARMERS MARKET WEEK IS AUGUST 6-12!
How are you celebrating? Check out the Farmers Market Coalition’s National Farmers Market Week Toolkit for some great ideas.
YOUNG FARMERS IN THE HEADLINES
- “Climate change is wreaking havoc on farms—and exacerbating a mental health crisis for farmers,” in Fast Company
- “Xochitl Torres Small sworn in as first Latina to serve as USDA’s No. 2,” in the Madison 365, featuring Policy Campaigns Co-Director Vanessa García Polanco
- Western Organizing Manager Evanne Caviness was featured on CBS Colorado: “Priced out, young farmers partner with Fort Collins to graze open spaces and heal land”
- Read this important Civil Eats article about the inclusion of climate protections for farmworkers and food chain workers in the farm bill
- The Maintenance Phase podcast debunks common myths about health and wellness
- Check out Vienna’s unpredictable Vegetable Orchestra from BBC
- Take a look at this interactive map by Atlas Obscura of unique places to eat and drink
- Check out Ajali Pasertong’s newsletter, Antiracist Dietician