Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Small farms, once more

I just came across this Boston Globe article, via Down On The Farm: "Going back to the land: Young people moving in to fill agricultural niches," by Sarah Schweitzer.
As family farms are swallowed up by corporations and housing developers, young men and women, some from suburban backgrounds and families with no agricultural ties, are filling the void. They are opening small niche operations in Vermont and elsewhere in New England to grow hydroponic tomatoes and raise free-range chickens.

Some are going back to the land to escape corporate culture, farming specialists say. Some of the young farmers and farmers-to-be say they are motivated by a sense that farming can save the world or at least some corner of it. [...]

But if they are idealists, the young farmers are also business-savvy. They toss around corporate catch-phrases such as value-added and diversified. They have business plans and have taken accounting classes.
It will be interesting to see if this trend gains enough momentum to offset some of the statistics about aging farmers.

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