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Saturday, July 25, 2009

40 Farmers under 40

Written by Matt Hickman

Who do you picture when you think of an American farmer? A leathery-handed AARP type who rises at dawn, works the fields all day and returns home when Sally Mae rings the supper bell? If so, you aren't too far off. According to the USDA, the average American agrarian is a white male aged 55 or older. And some studies show that the presence of young farmers, 18 to 35, is actually in decline.

But while they might be dwindling in numbers, young farmers are growing in visibility. And they're a motley, stereotype-shattering crew, for sure.
They're urban, they hold advanced degrees and they're often female. They sprout up in not-so-bucolic places like Brooklyn, Oakland, Atlanta and Indianapolis, and they sometimes work as educators, eco-entrepreneurs, yogis, journalists, filmmakers, activists and doting parents on the side. They're passionate and adventurous. And most notably, they're focused on sustainability and community building.
The following list features 40 American farmers under the age of 40, compiled with help from dozens of people in the farming industry — from farmers themselves to those who help them in the nonprofit sector to those in the media who cover them. They aren't in any particular order (farmer No. 5 isn't necessarily better than farmer No. 15, for example), and in no way should this list be considered scientific. Think of it more as starting point, a beginning to a larger conversation about the collective hope for the future of American farming.
Straw hats off to older farmers — they're the agricultural backbone of this country — but it's also time to acknowledge that Young MacDonald has a farm, too. These 40 up-and-coming farmers are happily working the earth from Roy, Wash., to Tivoli, N.Y., and the crops they grow are just as diverse as their backgrounds. Without further ado, let's meet the gang ...

Meet them here>>>

I started homesteading/farming when I was 24. And I still fall into that under 40 crowd.


The Thinker said...

Wow. They all look like teenagers!

kymber said...

Keep it up with the great posts! i really enjoyed this one!

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