by Brooke Werley
When I first heard of this project, I misheard Agrarian Trust, instead hearing A Growing Trust. I liked it. In the dreams of many young farmers is a growing sense of renewing a trust in the land that helped build the agricultural beginnings of this country.
Now we stand on a precipice. US Department of Agriculture studies have shown that the average age of farm operators is rising. The fastest growing group is those 65 or older, and in 2007 the average age was 58. In 1945 the average age was 39.
New movements, spearheaded by organizations like The Greenhorns have encouraged young people to go back to the roots, fruits and leafy green of the American farm. They are an enthusiastic bunch of new agrarianites ready to fill the muddy boots of aging farmers. Yet, these young would-be farmers often find themselves stalled by the lack of another kind of green.
Increasingly unaffordable agricultural land often seems to make farming seem inaccessible to those without the cash: an unacceptable outcome in a world that will need a predicted 50% more food by 2030.
The Agrarian Trust seeks to change this. This is the first phase of what we hope will transform the way agricultural land is treated, transferred and entrusted.
In this section you will find stories of real farmers across the country that made it work. You’ll find their story, how they did it and who helped them. We hope these stories will inspire and educate new farmers, as well as land owners and community members to become involved in the new agrarian movement. A growing trust.