If you live in a rural area or while surfing the internet, you might have come across an organization called Young Farmers.
You might be wondering what Young Farmers is, what they do, where they operate, or even how you can get involved or help out.
In this article, we will look at what Young Farmers is and everything that you need to know about this organization.
What Are Young Farmers?
Young Farmers is also known as the National Young Farmers Coalition. It was established in 2010 in a bid to help transform agriculture in the USA for the better.
The intersectional coalition works for justice and liberation of the food and farming systems across the country.
Young Farmers has worked alongside other social justice organizations and campaigns to try and create a future in which people, land, and the relationships between the two are respected.
The organization spends a lot of time championing government policies that resource connections to farming land and foster better health in the shadow of a climate crisis.
The overall mission of the National Young Farmers Coalition is to shift power and ensure changes to policies to guarantee equitable resourcing for the next generation of working farmers in North America.
The National Young Farmers Coalition is fighting for an agricultural future that is free from racial violence, is accessible to communities, is concerned with health over profit, and is oriented towards the well-being of the environment.
What Are Some Young Farmers Campaigns?
There are multiple campaigns that Young Farmers are working on to help change the future of agriculture in the USA.
Below are some of the biggest campaigns that Young Farmers are working on in the long term.
Access To Land And Capital
One of the main efforts of the National Young Farmers Coalition is to help increase access to land and capital for the next generation of farmers.
Across the nation, there are systemic barriers that are blocking access to the land and capital necessary to facilitate agricultural practices.
These barriers are even bigger for BIPOC farmers.
Young Farmers is committed to supporting policies that encourage equitable access to land for the next generation of farmers.
A lot of this work is related to addressing the climate crisis that we are facing.
There is also a focus on investing in community-driven initiatives and providing support to young farmers and ranchers.
USDA Access And Accountability
Another campaign that is important to the Young Farmers Coalition is ensuring that federal programs are actually reaching the young farmers that require them.
Data collected by the National Young Farmers Coalition suggests that young farmers across the country are unaware of or unfamiliar with the federal assistance programs that are available to them.
For the young farmers that are aware of the programs, the application forms can be overwhelming.
Young Farmers are campaigning for improvements in the customer experience of young and BIPOC farmers.
They want the process to be modernized and streamlined to increase accessibility for young and BIPOC farmers.
They also want to ensure that USDA staff have increased knowledge of diversity, inclusion, and equity.
An understandable, long-term campaign that is being run by Young Farmers pertains to climate action.
The climate crisis is a serious issue, and it affects every aspect of the agricultural industry.
Young Farmers believes that agriculture can play a significant role at the heart of policy-making to support climate resiliency.
Through various annual surveys conducted by Young Farmers, it found that climate change and the climate crisis were the top priority of the majority of young farmers.
It is campaigning for agriculture to be considered a tool in the fight against climate change.
Immigration And Labor Justice
Another incredibly important campaign that is being run by Young Farmers regards immigration and labor justice.
Young Farmers believes that every worker in the US deserves full labor rights protections.
The organization states that no one should feel powerless in their place of work and everyone should know their rights.
The campaign that is being run focuses on the support of immigrants, farmworkers, and food system workers through the transition to farm ownership and other agricultural roles.
This is designed to make the agricultural system more resilient and diverse.
Farmer Health And Well-Being
Another interesting campaign from Young Farmers is their farmer health and wellbeing campaign.
The campaign focuses on how health and well-being can be a huge motivation for young farmers to be out in their fields.
From data collected in a Young Farmers survey, the organization found that young farmers find farming to be therapeutic and beneficial for their mental and physical health.
Many young farmers are unable to afford health insurance, especially while investing in secure land access.
Young Farmers is campaigning for young people in the agricultural industry to have improved access to health care and better overall health and well-being.
Where Are Young Farmers Based?
The National Young Farmers Coalition names its locations “Chapters”. There are multiple chapters spread throughout the country.
There are currently chapters in 27 states in the US. There is a map on the Young Farmers website where you can find information about the different chapters across the country.
If you find that there isn’t a Young Farmers chapter near you, it is possible to set up your own chapter through the coalition.
You can find information about how to set up a chapter on the website. The organization will support you through the process of beginning your chapter in a new area.
Who Can Get Involved With Young Farmers?
As we mentioned above, you can join an existing chapter with Young Farmers if there is one in your area.
You can also set up your own chapter to help support yourself and other young farmers in your area.
However, if you are not a farmer or farm worker but want to support the organization anyway, you can purchase items from the Young Farmers shop on the main website.
You can also make a monetary donation. Donations of $1 and up entitle you to a year-long membership to Young Farmers.
Young Farmers is a great charitable organization that helps to support young farmers and BIPOC farmers to enter and improve the agricultural industry.
Their work is important to help fight the climate crisis and keep this valuable industry thriving and adapting to our changing world.
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