A Look at Young Farmers

It stands to reason that the growing popularity for organic produce – preferably locally grown – equates to a rising number of organically run farms. A recent piece on National Public Radio (NPR) provides a glimpse at a crop of young farmers gathered for the Young Farmers Conference in Tarrytown, New York. Follow the link and read or listen to the report. Here’s an excerpt.

Ben has been running his own farm in Tivoli, New York, for ten years now. He says that the great thing about farming is that it’s a really practical form of idealism. “It’s all well and good – and important – to have political opinions, and protest, and things like that. But when you’re farming, you get to live your values, and farm the world that you want to see,” he says.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA As a backyard vegetable grower, I’ve always had the utmost respect for people who choose to grow food for others. As an Accredited Organic Land Care Professional (AOLCP) I have even more respect for those who commit to farming organically.

We need to understand where our food comes from and what it takes to grow the fresh food we desire. Farming is difficult work but, thankfully, there are people willing and ready to learn from past farming practices and investigate new innovations in small-scale farming.

These are practical, resourceful, down-to-earth individuals who remind me of the farm-practicality my Grandmother learned as a child and passed on to her grandchildren.

In contrast to all the negative press blasted at us on television, radio, print and the Internet; the rising sense that big business is far more important than the public; and the paralyzing inability of Congress to work together to get anything done, organic farmers provide a positive, public-oriented, tangible service.

They feed people while helping to preserve the land for future generations.  They work hard, with limited capital, to keep farming. They seem to embody all the peace/love/respect-the-planet aspects so many in my generation professed during the 60’s while embracing the positive aspects of current technology.

Watch here to understand their drive, their vision, their desire to work in a truly meaningful profession.

 

They deserve our respect and our appreciation. They give me a powerful gift … they make me hopeful for the future.

Note: Many thanks to Alicia Ghio at  local food rocks for bringing NPR’s Who are the farmers of Generation Organic? to my attention … I must not have been listening the day it aired on All Things Considered.

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