The New Family Farmer (VIDEO)

According to the latest 2007 USDA National Agriculture Statistics Service, roughly 4 million family farms have been lost since the 1930’s, though it should be noted that small farms (50 acres in size, or less) have increased about 13% compared to the earlier USDA 2002 census data). As the population of family farmers continues to age, there is also a critical shortage of young farmers to take their place. Michael Paine is a rare breed; he doesn’t come from a farming family, and he’s relatively young. His story is a good example of the unique challenges facing those who wish to take up farming.

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3 thoughts on “The New Family Farmer (VIDEO)

  1. Hello,
    Yes, we are seeing the same thing, farming today is very difficult, when Jane and I first started living off the grid we did market gardening to make a living, and found success there. It’s not all about energy production anymore either, food has become a real focus for us, and it is good to see people like Michael taking it on. We might suggest he switch to soil block technology, I see all of those plastic growing containers in the background… it worked great for us.

  2. Recently Mike was talking to a group of young farmers (and others interested in the subject) and he suggested not to be so married to the idea of owning land – consider leasing as an option.

    I think these days it helps to be open to new ideas and be very creative at how you go about it.

  3. I’m not a farmer but I was raised on my grandfather’s farm (26 acres.) My thoughts here might be totally wrong and I welcome comments. I’m wondering if the 50 acre farms mentioned in the article might be ideal rather than the mega-thousand acre factory farms which require extensive applications of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. The 50 acre farm might be much more manageable for a farm family.