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 is 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.