Aging American Farmers
The Need to Train a New Generation
Did you know that California farmers grow more than 400 commodities and our Mediterranean climate allows them to do this year-round? California farms and ranches play a critical role in providing the goodness for our holiday meals and a continuous supply of food that feeds the Nation.
Unfortunately, there is only 1 farmer under the age of 25 to every five farmers over the age of 75. American farmers are aging and replacements urgently need to be trained in order to continue to feed a growing population. Thanks to the Center for Land-Based Learning and their Farm Business Incubator Program, they are working hard to train and support a new crop of farmers to solve this problem.
Seeing first-hand how these ground breaking farms are impacting the community, Eat Farm to Fork and Jordan from 106.5 The End met with Sara Bernal, West Sacramento Urban Farm Program Manager, and Matt Clement, West Sacramento CSA and Volunteer Coordinator, who work closely with these incubator farmers.
“Our mission is to inspire, educate, and cultivate the next generation of farmers, agricultural leaders, and natural resource stewards,” says Sara Bernal.
Sara and Matt are enthusiastic about providing that support to new farmers in their first three years of production. This includes technical training and support (irrigation, soil, equipment, pest control), accessing markets in which to sell their goods and volunteer farm help when needed.
Farmers work hard all year to ensure your holiday table is well stocked. From turkey, beef and pork to sweet potatoes, green beans, squash and more, CA farmers work in inclement weather (heat, rain, wind, cold) to provide us with fresh healthy food for holidays and beyond. Let’s give thanks to them this holiday season!
The Cannery Urban Farm
The Cannery Urban Farm is California’s first farm-to-table community serving as a training site for beginning farmers and as a community resource connecting people with agriculture. The Cannery neighborhood is located at the former Hunt-Wesson tomato cannery site in Davis, CA. The development consists of 547 homes with energy efficient and Livable DesignÔ features built into every residence. Known as an ‘agrihood’ the Cannery features a 5-acre urban farm. It is the first farm-to-fork new home community in the Sacramento region and in California.
A Training Ground for Beginning Farmers
This 5-acre site is designated for commercial farming operations and serves as a farm business
incubator site for beginning farmers. Plots of land, as well as greenhouse and cooler space, can be leased on an annual basis for up to four years, helping new farmers break down some of the biggest barriers to getting started farming—access to land and infrastructure.
How can I get involved and support?
We regularly hold volunteer days, workshops and events in partnership with agricultural and health experts to better connect people with the land, their food and each other so that we create a strong community for all.
CLICK HERE to get involved today in helping grow our future farmers of California!