Today’s guests on the show are Cara Fraver and Caitlin Arnold from the National Young Farmers Coalition. We talk about the different services and resources that they offer young farmers, including policy work, business resources, a national network of local chapters and how you can benefit from those. We also dive into some of the big challenges that young farmers face today, like land access, the importance of mental health, climate change, access to credit, finding labor, etc. If you haven’t checked them out already, I would highly recommend you navigate over to www.youngfarmers.org and take a look around their site the different things they offer, and possibly sign up for a membership. I know I heavily use our membership just in the resources and the discounts they provide for different companies so definitely check that out.
In This Episode:
>> How NYFC provides education around federal programs and policy
>> How their chapters run and how they’re the backbone of NYFC
>> Access to land, labor, credit, racial injustice, climate change, health insurance, loan debt are some of the biggest challenges facing young and beginning farmers
>> Why young farmers tend to end up with marginal farmland and how rural isolation can contribute to mental health challenges
>> A frank discussion about farmer suicide and available resources and support (such as National Suicide Hotline at (800) 273-TALK (8255) and 1-800-FARM-AID)
>> How being clear on how your farm business fits into your overall life goals can help keep perspective and reduce stress
About the Guests
Before joining the Young Farmers team, Cara Fraver owned and managed a diversified vegetable farm with her husband in upstate New York. Through work with Cornell Cooperative Extension, Just Food in NYC, and the New York State Berry Growers Association, she’s connected farmers with resources and education to improve their businesses for more than 15 years.
Caitlin Arnold supports all of Young Farmers grassroots chapters nationwide. Before joining Young Farmers, Caitlin spent ten years working on small-scale vegetable farms, and most recently ran her own farm business with a team of draft horses. She is from Washington state, where she organized with the Washington Young Farmers Coalition. She holds a Master of Science in Sustainable Food Systems through Green Mountain College in Vermont.
Resources and mentions
Farm Aid farmer hotline 1-800-FARM-AID
National Suicide Hotline at (800) 273-TALK (8255)
Minnesota Department of Agriculture Coping with Farm and Rural Stress
And if you want to keep the conversation going, join us in our Facebook Group to connect with us and other farmers looking to grow their business!
We also have six free eguides to help you be more effective on your farm (Winter Growing, Pastured Poultry, Washing Shed Efficiency, Profitable Farmers Toolkit, what to look for in a farm property, etc), which you can download here.