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Growing Farmers

The average age of the American farmer is now fifty-eight. To help transition from grey hairs to greenhorns, farm incubators and farm fairies lend a hand in preparing a resilient and thriving green collar industry based on values of sustainability.

In this week’s edition of Food List, we see how incubating knowledge is just as important in the classroom as it is on the farm with our Know Your Food film, 57.

Next, we explore the challenges young farmers face during training on the farm and how they are finding support with a list of useful resources shared by our friends at Grace Communications.

We will be taking a closer look at how the next generation of farmers are being trained to value organic, sustainable practices.

However, young farmers are not the only green collars facing obstacles; Jane Black and visionaries at Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture are bringing to light the issues of land and creative solutions for the aging American farmer demographics.

And while the topic of American farmer demographics is on the table, Lisa Gale Garrigues from YES! shares with us the dreams made true by farm fairies and farm incubators of ALBA for seasonal farmworkers.

Sustainable farming knowledge is important for both greenhorns and farm hands, and Sarita Role Schaffer shares with us her vision and mission as a farm incubator.

This week's terms

Farm Incubator

“A place where you can make mistakes only to correct them and avoid them in the future. It’s a trial-and-error environment, under professional guidance, where if you fail on a particular part of your growing process you don’t lose everything. Whereas, outside of the incubator, you may lose that and more.” - Tony Serrano, general manager of ALBA Organics (Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association)


A mostly informal collection of young, brainy, energetic world changers. In an effort to enhance the visibility of the Young Farmers Movement, Greenhorns use self-made tools, including films, books, radio programs, and public events, to engage and inspire their local community.

Farm Fairies

Farm Fairies are individuals who structure creative financial agreements which allow farmers to purchase land, set down permanent roots, and do what they love instead of being priced out of the land market by speculators.

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