Thoughts on Letters to a Young Farmer: Addressing Common Assumptions About Agriculture and Farming

Thoughts on Letters to a Young Farmer: Addressing Common Assumptions About Agriculture and Farming

I recently finished the book Letters to a Young Farmer: On Food, Farming, and Our Future, a birthday gift. It’s a collection of essays from the Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture, located near New York City. The essays were written by people who are connected (or loosely connected) to agriculture in some way, most of them located on the Coasts. Surprisingly, the first several essays actually discouraged me, a strange beginning for a book professing to inspire people to become farmers.

The essays made several assumptions:

  1. Farmers are victims of everything around them, including weather, businesses, government agencies, universities, and agricultural media.
  2. Farmers must know everything about everything.
  3. Farmers will be poverty-stricken their entire lives, but it’s worth it because they work with the soil.
  4. All young farmers will farm organically.

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