Beginning Farmers: Learning, Networking, and Connecting to Place

February 8, 2013 § 1 Comment

Check out the article (title above) that I wrote for A Growing Culture! Here’s a link, with the first couple of paragraphs below:

It’s no secret that more and more young people in the U.S. are looking to establish careers in local, organic, and small-scale farming, despite the risk, instability, hard work, and moderate income. Even many well-established career adults are abandoning their corporate jobs to start farms – and writing books about it. Most of these folks are unapologetic about their choices, choosing instead to either shout to the rooftops about why they’ve chosen a lifestyle such as this one, or to quietly go on doing what’s important to them. Yet as much as farmers enjoy their independence, getting started and continuing successfully depends upon a network of support from other farmers, researchers, landowners, and the general public.

Khaiti and Andrew French, who run Living the Dream Farm in Clayton, Wisconsin, were drawn to farming because “of loving good, real food and caring about how animals are raised in agriculture.” They are famous for their duck eggs in Minneapolis circles, and also raise turkeys, rabbits, chickens, and goats. Farmers such as the Frenches, inspired by voices such as Wendell Berry and Fred Kirschenmann, seek meaningful connection to the land, family-centric lifestyles, and practices that are in line with their carefully considered ethics.

Read more.

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§ One Response to Beginning Farmers: Learning, Networking, and Connecting to Place

  • Erica says:

    P.S. Are you interested in getting into farming? Check out this opportunity to work and learn with my fantastic friend Jessica Babcock at the Organic Farm School at Greenbank Farm in Washington: http://greenbankfarm.biz/farm-school/.

    Here’s an excerpt from their site:

    “This full-time, 7.5-month long expe­ri­en­tial pro­gram is for aspir­ing farm­ers seek­ing to learn and prac­tice the tech­ni­cal and busi­ness skills needed to run a small-scale organic farm. Through coop­er­a­tively man­ag­ing the Organic Farm School’s eight-acre farm and attend­ing weekly lec­tures, dis­cus­sions and demon­stra­tions on top­ics includ­ing organic crop pro­duc­tion, soil sci­ence, busi­ness plan­ning, and direct mar­ket­ing, par­tic­i­pants will acquire a thor­ough edu­ca­tion in organic small farm man­age­ment. Par­tic­i­pants also engage in inde­pen­dent stud­ies includ­ing a research project and the cre­ation of a per­sonal busi­ness plan. Bi-weekly field trips to regional farms allow par­tic­i­pants to see a vari­ety of farm­ing styles and talk to expe­ri­enced pro­duc­ers. Through man­age­ment of the OFS Farm, par­tic­i­pants develop their prac­ti­cal farm skills includ­ing plan­ning, tillage, green­house prop­a­ga­tion, weed­ing, har­vest­ing, mar­ket­ing, record keep­ing and more. Stu­dents also learn to build a green­house, oper­ate trac­tors, make com­post and man­age the farm’s poul­try and bees. With the skills and knowl­edge gained and a busi­ness plan in hand, pro­gram grad­u­ates are ready to start or man­age their own small organic farm.”

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