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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture
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Posts By Nicole Crescimanno

Growing the Next Generation of Sustainable Farmers

June 1, 2011 |

Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture, a nonprofit 80-acre four-season farm and education center in Pocantico Hills, NY (a hop, skip and a jump from Manhattan) is looking for aspiring farmers to counteract an alarming trend in agriculture: an aging population of farmers that isn’t getting any younger.

Alec Baxt Stone Barns Apprentice

Former Field Apprentice Alec Baxt. Photo by Erin Boyle.

According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, as of the 2002 Census, the average age of all U.S. farmers was approximately 55. More distressing, though, is that from 1982 to 2002 the number of young principal farmers under 35 years old has declined from 16% to 9%. Stone Barns Center attributes this decline in young farmers to years of economic forces that have deterred young people from regarding farming as a viable career opportunity. Read More