Shenandoah Valley Young Farmers Coalition (SVYFC) assembled in 2019 as a collaborative network of new and young farmers. This chapter organizes around collective needs for a food system that is local, resilient, sustainable, accessible, and equitable. SVYFC is helping to build this new economy by providing networking and social gatherings for young farmers in our area to fellowship and connect one another with various resources. In 2020 and the coming years, we hope to build on this work through the establishment of land trusts, deeper sharing of resources, and supporting farmers’ holistic health. We also anticipate more political advocacy and welcome folks with experience in and vision for this work.
The Shenandoah Valley has a long history of incredible abundance through agricultural means. A number of Native American tribes farmed, hunted, and traded along the valley before European colonization. During the Civil War the valley was known as the “Breadbasket of the Confederacy.” Today the region continues to be a powerhouse of agriculture, which is Virginia’s biggest economic sector. Rockingham County – where SVYFC was founded – is the state’s highest grossing county in terms of agriculture. SVYFC represents new and young farmers shaping a future of farming that will sustain this abundance!
The Shenandoah Valley holds a diversity of people, agricultural practices, and cultural heritages. The chapter welcomes this extensive diversity as a sign of our collective strength; this is the foundation for the work of transforming the food system in a just and equitable way. SVYFC calls residents of the Shenandoah Valley to steward the health of this land for the long-term and to support the health of the people who live here. The chapter cultivates partnerships with those sharing the goals of local food sovereignty and land-based liberation for all.
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