New Generation of Farmers Emerges in Oregon

Prairie Crossing, Grayslake, IL

One of the challenges for mid-size farms, the so-called agriculture of the middle, is how to transition farmland to a new generation of farmers. It is heartening to see young people excited by food production, but we need to develop policies and programs to help them learn sustainable and profitable farming techniques, gain access to manageable parcels of farmland, and have a pathway to acquire larger farms if they wish to grow their operations.  See today’s NY Times article for inspiration:

An interesting model for nurturing new farmers is Prairie Crossing, a farmland subdivision on a commuter line from Chicago that boasts 40 acres of organic farmland amidst single family homes, with “training parcels” for prospective new farmers. Another model is NYC’s New Farmer Development Project, which helps recent immigrants who have farming experience gain access to farmland in the New York metropolitan area as well as retail space at one of the city’s Greenmarkets.

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