This week, we’ve featured an organisation that is supporting the next generation of young farmers and ranchers across America. With the current shortage of people entering the field of agriculture, they’re just what is needed to encourage would-be farmers and growers.

The National Young Farmers Coalition was founded in 2009 by three struggling farmers, Severine von Tscharner Fleming, Ben Shute and Lindsey Shute. They came to the realisation that in order to succeed, they would need to collaborate with other farmers. The NYFC now works in coalition with farmers, consumers, organisations and government to tackle the many challenges that young, independent and sustainable farmers face in their first years of operating a farm business.

In the TED talk below, Lindsey Shute talks about how critical it is to bring young people back into farming.

So why ‘young’ farmers? The NYFC uses the term ‘young’ to refer to anyone who is just starting off in their agricultural career, whether you’re a first year farm apprentice of pursuing a mid-life career change.

One of their guiding principles relates to sustainable farming practices. As stewards for the environment, farmers are encouraged to adopt practices that sustain healthy soil, water and air, to protect our climate for the next generation. The Coalition also supports independent family farms, affordable land for farmers, fair labour practices and farmer-to-farmer training.

If you’re a farmer that’s just starting out in the US, join the Coalition and become part of a network of young and beginning farmers, who share resources, organise in regional chapters, and advocate together for supportive policy.

To find out more and to become a member, visit www.youngfarmers.org

Photograph by Will Merydith

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