The Future of Farming….

A recent article in FLAVOR Magazine ( titled “The Next Generation” states that “there’s a crisis in farming. The average age of a farmer in the United States is between 57 and 59. Thirty percent of our farmers are beyond retirement age. And the USDA says we needs 100,000 new farmers a year – that’s right, every year – to continue American food production at current levels.” If you’ve ever thought that you would like to combine your love of good food, hard work and being outdoors now is your chance! There’s no better time than NOW to spend your winter perusing seed catalogs and backyard homesteading books. Although I have worked for Polyface for almost 4 years now (wow!) I am just now starting to plan my own little “farm” in my tiny little backyard. It’s addicting! But I promise you it’s worth it! I thought I would share some of the books, websites and blogs I have found useful and most of all inspiring. The video is the most inspirational piece of all. I watch it every day!!!! Thank you Jenna!!!! <3

and most importantly…… The First Year by Jenna Woginrich

Peace, love and farming!





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About Wendy Gray

Born and raised in Staunton, Wendy left small town life for college in Richmond only to return to back to her cherished hometown. She's been working for Polyface since February 2008 doing PR/Mktg, helping to run the farm store, assisting Joel with his busy schedule, organizing special events on the farm and in the community, bugging Daniel and planting herbs wherever she can find space!

5 Responses to The Future of Farming….

  1. Caitlyn M. says:

    I just got my copy of Barnheart in the mail today! Jenna did such an awesome job with it! 🙂

  2. Dawn says:

    Waiting for Barnheart to come in and have read the others. My husband and I are 57. We have always had a garden but now we are kicking it up. Wish we were younger though.

  3. Amanda Reifsnyder says:

    Okay, but here’s my thing: let’s say you DO want to be one of the 100,000 farmers for this year. Or next year. Or just some year before you’re dead. What are you supposed to do if you have: no skill, no land, no family to follow, three kids, and debt? (Sorry, I realize that all just sounded very whiny.) All whining aside, I keep reading the woeful tales of farmer dads who hang up the pitchfork when none of their offspring want to pick it up, but it’s not like you can just walk up to a farmer and say, “Here! Hand it to me! Teach me! Deed your land to me!” So, what, if anything, are country lovin’ city kids supposed to do to be part of the solution?

    • Lynn says:

      What you do, is do what I’m planning to do this summer – go for an internship. Have one parent do internship, the other work. That’s all you really can do. Also, read as much up on farming as you can. There’s WOOF programs, and other programs – internships, new farmer workshops, etc. etc. You can do it, it’s just going to take hard work, and probably sacrifice. Remember….if you’re low on money, and you need food, you Can always go to the food bank. 😐 I’ve done it, and it’s not fun, but it’s there.

      I will admit, it’s probably going to be easier on me, because I don’t have any kids and I’m not married, but I’ve got some student loan debts.

      Also, like Joel said in his book (at least I think it was that one – I’ve read so many lately it’s hard to keep straight) – he’s got old farmers writing him, begging him to find someone to take over their farm. Quite frankly, I’d rather have an old abandoned farm – at least 3 years abandoned, if not more, than a working one. It’d make it much easier to go right into organic, grass-based farming (which is what I want to do).

      Here’s some websites to check out:

  4. Kim says:

    Please do not recommend Jenna to your readers. She is not the real deal. She lies about how much she has and what she does to get her money. She does not care for her animals in any humane way. She pretends at being a farmer. Read Joel Salatin, the Nearings anyone except Jenna Woginrich.