Here at CFAC, we understand that the road to success as a farmer can be a long and arduous one. Start-up costs are high, access to land can be a deal-breaker, and well, then, there are the hours! Of course, farming has plenty of benefits too - you get to work outside with your hands in the dirt and the sun, you work for yourself, and, as one of our past board members, Erin Turner, has said, "You never complain about not being able to sleep well!"
We believe that if our food system is to be strong and resilient, we need to support beginning farmers and ranchers, to help them over the hump of the first few years to build sustainable, successful business models. There are some key ways in which we can help, by providing:
Through our Land Link program, we provide a forum for landowners to advertise land that they would like to sell or lease land for farming and ranching. This provides an alternative to searching for land only in the real estate listings.
This year, we are adding to our offerings for beginning farmers by offering a series of educational opportunities through the winter and summer of 2014 on business, production, marketing, and many other topics. Stay tuned for more details soon!
We're also exploring ideas for providing networking opportunities. Some of the ideas we're tossing around include starting a National Young Farmers Coalition chapter, kickstarting a Grange-type social organization, or hosting speed dating sessions for Land Link members.
Interested in learning more about these projects and throwing your two cents in? Join our Beginning Farmer & Rancher Committee!