A New Generation of Farmers Emerge

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

In an age when people want to feel more connected to their food than they can at a grocery store a younger group of farmers have emerged. Young people in their 20s and 30s who have chosen farming as a career. Influenced by punk rock bands and a “foodie” culture this new generation of farmer is embracing the connection between what they grow and who ultimately consumes it; bringing back the trust between them.

Garry Stephenson, coordinator of the Small Farms Program at Oregon State University, said he had not seen so much interest among young people in decades. “It’s kind of exciting,” Mr. Stephenson said. “They’re young, they’re energetic and idealistic, and they’re willing to make the sacrifices.”

Though the number of young farmers is increasing, the average age of farmers nationwide continues to creep toward 60, according to the 2007 Census of Agriculture. That census, administered by the Department of Agriculture, found that farmers over 55 own more than half of the country’s farmland.

To read the entire New York Times article click here.

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