A growing number of young Americans are leaving desk jobs to farm

Liz Whitehurst dabbled in several careers before she ended up here, crating fistfuls of fresh-cut arugula in the early-November chill.

The hours were better at her nonprofit jobs. So were the benefits. But two years ago, the 32-year-old Whitehurst — who graduated from a liberal arts college and grew up in the Chicago suburbs — abandoned Washington for this three-acre farm in Upper Marlboro, Md.

She joined a growing movement of highly educated, ex-urban, first-time farmers who are capitalizing on booming consumer demand for local and sustainable foods and who, experts say, could have a broad impact on the food system.

For only the second time in the last century, the number of farmers under 35 years old is increasing, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s latest Census of Agriculture. Sixty-nine percent of the surveyed young farmers had college degrees — significantly higher than the general population.

This new generation can’t hope to replace the numbers that farming is losing to age. But it is already contributing to the growth of the local-food movement and could help preserve the place of midsize farms in the rural landscape.


What you won't find on this site. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Linkedin, Google Analytics, Google Adsense, Amazon, Disqus Comments, MailChimp, Pop-Ups and intrusive ads. If you have the means, please consider making a small donation to fund our work. Your support is much appreciated.


$1,258 of $10,000 raised
$
Personal Info

Donation Total: $5.00

Leave a Reply