A recent op-ed piece in the New York Times winds through the hills of upstate New York looking for a solution to keeping agricultural land in the hands of farmers.
“In the next 20 years, 70 percent of the nation’s farmland will change hands.Farmers do not live forever, and most farm kids do not choose to carry on the family business. An eager generation of young Americans is motivated to farm but, like us, they need land and few will be able to secure it without help.
The federal government and states spend hundreds of millions of dollars on farmland conservation each year, which can do much more than protect pastoral views for the wealthy. Those dollars must also be used to shore up rural economies and national food security with productive farms.”
The article was written by farmers Lindsey Lusher Shute and Benjamin Shute, who run Hearty Roots Community Farm. They are also co-founders of the National Young Farmers Coalition.