Minnesota Public Radio:
- Karen Stettler: Farm Beginnings program organizer
- Traci Bruckner: Senior policy associate at the Center for Rural Affairs in Lyons, Nebraska; former chair of the USDA Advisory Committee on Beginning Farmers and Ranchers
- Lauren Langworthy: Young farmer, Blue Ox Organics in Wheeler, Wisconsin
Associated MPR Article:
Farmfest is underway this week near Redwood Falls in southern Minnesota. The annual agricultural showcase includes the usual political forums and a look at the newest farm equipment.
But this year it also put a focus on young farmers – with a day dedicated to those looking to get into farming or early on in their farming career. Getting started farming is hard these days – and the average age of Minnesota farmers, 56.6 in 2012, continues to rise.
On The Daily Circuit, we look at the barriers facing people who want to get into farming, and the programs in Minnesota to support and recruit new farmers.
One of those organizations is Minneapolis-based Land Stewardship Project. More from MPR News:
It helps evaluate and instruct young farmers on what they need to do to get started, said Karen Stettler, who oversees the organization’s Farm Beginnings program.
“The Farm Beginnings program really helps people to think about their deeply held values and beliefs, put that into a goal, and then to also make sure to follow that goal up with helping them to assess finances and marketing strategies,” she said.
In the past 17 years about 600 people have gone through the program, and about 60 percent are still farming, Stettler said.
See the article here: