The National Young Farmers’ Coalition is focused on supporting America’s next generation of sustainable farmers and ranchers. We use “young farmers” to include all people who are kicking off a career in agriculture, typically in their first 10 years of growing. That includes anyone from a first-year farm apprentice to someone pursuing a mid-life career change to agriculture. America can use as many new farmers as we can get!
We use the term “young” to grab the attention of our policy makers. When young people band together to fight for policies that support them, Washington responds. Many of the most successful social movements in history were in part driven by young people, and the food movement is no exception. Some of our affiliate groups prefer “beginning” over “young,” but we see the two as nearly synonymous; whether you’re actually young or young at heart, NYFC is right for you!
As a diverse and dynamic coalition, NYFC is composed not only of young farmers, but also of established farmers, farm service providers, good food advocates and conscious consumers. Everyone has a stake in the future of agriculture in this country, and we’re excited for you to join us in tackling the barriers beginning farmers face in establishing their farm businesses.
Our Mission, Vision and Guiding Principles
NYFC represents, mobilizes, and engages young farmers to ensure their success.
We envision a country where young people who are willing to work, get trained and take a little risk can support themselves and their families in farming.
The National Young Farmers’ Coalition supports practices and policies that will sustain young, independent and prosperous farmers now and in the future.
As a community of farmers and consumers, we support:
Independent Family Farms. Farming must remain a desirable and profitable career and livelihood. The healthiest future for food and farming in the United States will be achieved through the continued support for independent family farms that own and operate their own land and businesses. An interdependent network of family farms is the key to maintaining a resilient farm sector and healthy rural communities.
Sustainable Farming Practices. As caretakers of the natural wealth of the nation, farmers must be conscientious and mindful environmental stewards. We encourage farming practices that sustain healthy soil, water and air, and that will protect our climate for the next generation of farmers and consumers.
Affordable Land for Farmers. There must be high-quality farmland that is affordable for full-time farmers to purchase. Farmers must own their farmland in order to make capital improvements on their farms and to build equity for long-term financial security. Owning land provides personal satisfaction, confidence and practical efficiency that only comes with being in full control of the means of production of the farm; however long-term leases for secure and affordable farmland tenure must also be available.
Fair Labor Practices. Farming is deeply satisfying and joyful work that should allow each farmer to fully utilize his or her innate talents and abilities. Farmers should have the opportunity to be part of a community working toward the common goal of sustaining farming for the future. All farmers and farm workers should receive a fair wage for their products and work, and should receive proper care when sick or injured. We recognize the incredible contribution of immigrant and migrant farm workers working in the United States, and believe that these individuals deserve the utmost respect, fair compensation and opportunities to build their own farms.
Farmer-to-Farmer Training. Farming cannot be learned entirely in a classroom, and the best teachers are often farmers themselves. We support the apprenticeship model of farmer education, modeled after other trades, and believe that mentorships and alternative farmer-to-farmer learning opportunities should be available to young farmers.
Farmers of Every Gender, Race and Sexual Orientation, We strongly support inclusiveness in the farming profession, and believe that diversity among farmers in critical to maintaining a strong and vibrant agricultural sector to provide for a diversity of consumers.
Cooperation and Friendship Between All Farmers. We reject divisiveness between farmers over production philosophies or any other issue. For land, skills and place-based knowledge to be transferred to the next generation, young farmers must embrace and collaborate with their elder farmers. There are too few farmers in our country, and as such, each one contributes to feeding our nation and upholding farming traditions.
CLICK HERE TO VISIT