Young Farmers Policy Campaigns

Policy change is necessary for a radical future.

We’ve seen grassroots policy advocacy dismantle inequitable policies and democratize political participation. We work strategically to contribute to these hard-won policy victories. As farmers and advocates we lead with our shared values without compromising on core principles. We believe policy change requires work and dialogue, and we fight to ensure our advocacy does not obstruct the realization of the radical vision in which farming serves the public interest.
Policy presents many of the most impactful opportunities to help young farmers and ranchers. We believe we can help drive necessary transformations by centering the voices of farmers most marginalized from policy making processes, equitably resourcing and training farmer leaders across the country, and advocating for farmer-driven, equitable and intersectional policy recommendations in service of both incremental and radical change.

Young Farmer Policy Agenda

In 2022 and 2023, we are focused on shaping the next Farm Bill and USDA’s administrative priorities, to address the structural challenges facing this new generation of young and Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) farmers. We are collaborating with farmer leaders, policy makers, and diverse stakeholders to envision and design a policy framework that prioritizes equitable land access and transition, and that is deeply informed by young farmer challenges and needs related to climate change, access to clean water, viability and economic justice, and immigration and labor.

Policy Setting Process

The National Young Farmers Coalition (Young Farmers) has historically created federal policy platforms and campaigns by surveying young farmers nationally and gathering informal feedback from our members and chapters. In 2018, in order to more directly engage our farmer members, we began developing a process to ensure young farmers, especially BIPOC farmers, have a formal voice in setting our federal policy platform and that our platform reflects the on-the-ground needs of our farmer members.
The Young Farmers’ Federal Policy Setting Process is the result of months of research, consultation, and conversation with partners and other farmer-centric organizations. The Young Farmers Policy Setting Process was launched at Convergence 2019 through a presentation to members and was approved through a member voting process.
As per the Federal Policy Setting Process guidelines, the work to build this platform included regional and affinity group calls for farmers in our network, a national policy priorities survey to gather information, and nomination and voting on Policy Committee members. The information was reviewed by the elected Policy Committee and staff to draft this platform for the next two-year Congressional session. Members voted on whether or not to accept each pillar, which requires a majority vote (51%) in favor.

A Better 2023 Farm Bill

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Racial Equity

We recognize racial equity not as a policy pillar, but as the base upon which all policy must stand.

Young Farmers centers racial equity in our programs, policy, and advocacy campaigns. We know that federal agricultural policies have reinforced the systemic racism that encumbers BIPOC farmers in almost every aspect of life, and we commit to advocating for anti-racist policy change. Programs that were created to directly address racial inequities must remain adequately funded, and all programs and policies must move towards centering racial equity in their programmatic design.

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