Supporting Young Farmers and Sustainable Food Leaders

Dec 12, 2019 10:30 AM ET

As a food company, we want farming and food to be an exciting career opportunity for the next generation.

Through funding from the General Mills Foundation, The Stone Barns Center is collaborating with the National Young Farmers Coalition and Arizona State University to design, develop, and launch a 6-month farmer fellowship program focused on regenerative agriculture. We are supporting the program’s development and first year pilot.

The average age of farmers in the U.S. is 57.51, and young farmers are facing unprecedented challenges to creating viable careers in agriculture. We recognize the need to help cultivate the next generation by providing resources, supporting farmer advocacy, and bringing young farmers together to ensure that they have a chance to succeed. The Young Farmers Fellowship will create a peer cohort that supports participants’ development as both practitioners and ambassadors of regenerative farming.

In the pilot year of the fellowship, the cohort will include six to ten “next generation” farmers. The program will target farmers who are producing row crops, grains, oilseed and/or integrated livestock in the country’s midsection who are working on a transition to regenerative practices.

As a key component of the program, the fellows will receive advocacy training from the National Young Farmers Coalition to prepare them to take a leadership role in engaging with state and federal farm policy. The National Young Farmers Coalition is a leader in engaging young farmers around public policy to support the future of agriculture.

Learn more in our Triple Bottom Line Operating Unit Sustainability report

1 USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, 2017 Census of Agriculture (2019).