You have have read about our upcoming Faith Lands conference in our newsletter during the week. The purpose of the gathering is to connect landowning faith groups with landless young farmers. We want to help create a network that will help nativiate some of the complex issues that can arise in these situations. We are not the first to have this thought however, and we are delighted to see that there are already relationships blossoming between these two diverse groups. Once such example can be seen in the collaboration between Moses Kashem and the St. Simon’s Episcopal church as reported by the Miami Herald this week.
St. Simon’s Episcopal church was going broke. It’s a tiny squat building on 4 acres of land in south Miami-Dade County, with a tiny congregation. That’s when a new member of the congregation, Moses Kashem, came up with an idea. A young farmer, he asked the church elders to give him half an acre to farm specifically for local restaurants and chefs, and he already has signed up several chefs to purchase his produce.
Chris Newman is a farmer in Charlottesville working towards a sustainable, healthy and organic future for his family and community. Yet despite this, Chris, as a black man faces racial profiling and discrimination on a regular basis. He has been attracting a lot of attention lately due to his recent facebook post that called out the counter-protests that took place after the white nationalist protest against the removal of a confederate monument saying that he felt “far less bothered by the flag wavers in this picture [above] than this town’s progressives assuming its race problem has nothing to do with them.” (more…)
We are so proud of Lindsey Luscher Shute after her outstanding performance before the senate committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry. She did a fantastic job of representing the struggles facing young farmers, from land access and affordability, student loan debt, health care affordability to the bias against women and people of color in the existing agricultural framework. She went on to outline the progress needed going forward and the issues that need to be addressed in the next Farm Bill in order to support a new generation of farmers who face different challenges and require different support mechanisms.
Lindsey also submitted a full written testimony that goes into much more detail about the young farmers movement. To read the full testimony click HERE
The project is a collaboration between writers, photographers, and farmers (of course!). FFP is working on highlighting women in agriculture and is setting about chronicling the rise in female farmers across the world. We feel it’s necessary to point out the obvious, which is that women have always been farming and have actually played a pretty central role in agriculture for, basically, ever. But the historical narrative often focuses on men (we like you guys too).
From the Female Farmer Project blog:
“I spent the weekend visiting friends who live in rural Minnesota. Though they aren’t farming, they are surrounded by farms and live on a farmstead. I was reading to their 5 year old girl and 3 year old boy and a book mentioned “the farmer’s wife” but I instead just called her “the farmer” because, duh. And the little girl immediately piped up and said “I thought only boys were farmers”. So I told them that girls can be farmers too and lots of girls are farmers.”
This one here is a good laugh for all of us who may or may not be the black sheep of the family. (My grandma clipped the above cartoon out of the New Yorker and promptly sent it to me without any card when I started farming six years ago. I like to think she was smiling about it, but it’s hard to tell.)
Some man wrote the New York Times “Social Q” column last week, explaining that he is “not paying $60,000 a year (after taxes) for him to become a farmer.” And, for once in a blue moon, the NYT writer abstained from millenial-bashing to explain that the parent might consider seeking out “less controlling ways to teach him the consequences of his professional choices.” Read the full clip below the break, and maybe consider that abysmal attitudes like this are best countered with a donation to your friendly local farm advocacy organization. We still need all the help we can get! (more…)
By LIZ CARLISLE (published in the LA Times July 9, 2015)
A bill recently introduced in Congress, the Young Farmer Success Act, would make farmers eligible for federally subsidized student loan forgiveness — just as teachers and nurses are now — on the grounds that agriculture is a public service. But is it? (more…)
Andrew Ide, 27, has a degree in philosophy and theology. His wife Micha, 29, has a degree in anthropology and part of another in interior design. Both have experience in the California corporate world.
None of that knowledge is doing them any good now.
CLERMONT, N.Y. — WHEN we went looking in upstate New York for a home for our farm, we feared competition from deep-pocketed developers, a new subdivision or a big-box store. These turned out to be the least of our problems.
Though the farms best suited for our vegetables were protected from development by conservation easements, we discovered that we couldn’t compete, because conserved farmland is open to all buyers — millionaires included.
Easements are intended to protect farmland, water, animal habitat, historic sites and scenic views, and so they are successful in keeping farms from becoming malls and subdivisions. But they don’t stop Wall Street bankers from turning them into private getaways, with price tags to match.