Growing the Next Generation of Farmers

First Generation Farmers are getting millenials to be the next leaders in agriculture.

Jan 8, 2015
Young people farming and holding crops

First Generation Farmers out in the field. [Image from Facebook]

Allie Cecchini, 26, and Christian Olesen, 24, are gearing up to create the next generation of farmers with their nonprofit First Generation Farmers. Fueled by the statistic that the average age of American farmers is over 58 year olds, these two intrepid twenty-somethings want to make the experience of farming accessible to millennials.
Based in California’s East Bay Area, their community farm has made great strides in the past year. They grew over 120 pounds of food which was donated to local food banks, and gave local schools an opportunity to learn hands-on about farming through a specially tailored curriculum.
The next big thing on the docket is a farm incubator program, which First Generation Farmers are looking to fund using Kickstarter. Their vision is to expose even more young people to the joys of farming by giving participants small tracts of land, to teach them the ins and outs of agriculture in a low risk and supportive environment. Currently, the nonprofit has 50 acres of fertile land waiting to be farmed. They are now campaigning for extra funds to expand their infrastructure to include: new greenhouses, an updated irrigation system and extra supplies and tools for their aspiring farmers.
In the next 20 years, over 400 million acres or nearly half of American farm land is set to change hands as the current generation of farmers retire. With great hope and determination, First Generation Farmers want to lead the way in creating a new league of trained and enthusiastic farmers to take over the reins.  

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