In late 2009, three farmers in the Hudson Valley sat down together around a farmhouse table to talk about the challenges facing them and their peers.
They talked about difficulties securing loans, access to affordable farmland, and student loan debt. They decided that they and other young farmers needed to step up and fight for the future of farming as a united, national front. Across the country, other young farmers were also coming to the same realization. Groups like the Michigan Young Farmers Coalition, the New Connecticut Farmers Alliance, and the Washington Young Farmers Coalition were taking shape at around the same time.
Our founders brought their idea for a national coalition to the first Stone Barns Young Farmers Conference in Tarrytown, NY, in 2009. There was such excitement in the room that the farmers named the coalition on the spot.
The National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC) was founded by and for a new generation of farmers in the United States. We work in coalition with farmers, consumers, organizations, and government to tackle the many challenges that young, independent farmers face in their first years operating a farm business.
NYFC joined the Open Space Institute in 2010 as part of their Citizen Action fiscal sponsorship program. In 2014, NYFC became fiscally sponsored by The Center for Rural Affairs. In 2016, NYFC became an independent, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
Our first Advisory Council is pictured above: Severine von Tscharner Fleming, Michelle Hughes, Tierney Creech, Sean Stanton, Lindsey Lusher Shute (back row, L-R); Wes Hannah, Emily Oakley, Ben Shute (front row, L-R).