Posts By Marissa Lee
Christine Anthony and Owen Masterson want to inspire young men and women to consider sustainable farming as a career. To do so, the couple produced and directed a 50-minute documentary entitled GROW! that follows 20 young sustainable farmers on 12 farms in Georgia as they doggedly pursue careers in agriculture despite challenges related to land ownership and lack of farming experience.
“We need more farmers,” Anthony said. “We felt that by showcasing and highlighting some people that were doing it successfully, other people would be able to explore the idea of farming.”
On the borderline between the affluent Gold Coast section of Chicago, IL and the neighborhood that was once home to Cabrini-Green, one of America’s most infamous housing projects sits a sustainable urban vegetable farm called City Farm.
The farm occupies one acre of land surrounded by a fence latticed with six-foot tall sunflowers. City Farm is run by the Resource Center, a Chicago-based non-profit environmental education organization that develops and demonstrates innovative techniques for recycling and reusing materials.
In 2009, the Vermont Legislature approved the Farm to Plate (F2P) initiative as part of the state’s 2010 jobs bills. The F2P initiative tasked the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund (VSJF) with creating a 10-year strategic plan to strengthen and expand the state’s food system. Two years and a $400,000 later, the VSJF released a plan that contains 33 goals and 60 high priority strategies to create new jobs, increase market share, and improve environmental and economic health in the state’s agriculture sector.
The central aim of F2P is to promote and enable the production and consumption of locally grown foods in Vermont, said Erica Campbell, who became the VSJF Farm to Plate program director in July. She said the plan supports sustainable agriculture by virtue of its core focus.
WesMar Farms is one of two licensed goat dairies in Louisiana. Marketing their fresh goat milk, cheese and seasonal produce can be an obstacle for this sustainable family farm, Marguerite Constantine said.
“I am not a large company. I don’t have a big advertising budget. I can’t afford an ad agency or a PR person,” she explained. “My resources are limited not only by time, but money.”
When MarketMaker, a free online tool designed to link agricultural supply chain players, came to Louisiana in 2010, Constantine was quick to create an account. She said that it was “tailor-made” for her small farm’s market research and advertising needs.