A Young Generation Sees Greener Pastures In Agriculture

JENNIFER MITCHELL

Marya Gelvosa and Josh Gerritsen run a small farm on Maine's rocky mid-coast, providing their local community with beef, lamb and heritage poultry. They're decades younger than the average American farmer, but they love the lifestyle. "It's very fulfilling work," Gelvosa says.

Marya Gelvosa and Josh Gerritsen run a small farm on Maine’s rocky mid-coast, providing their local community with beef, lamb and heritage poultry. They’re decades younger than the average American farmer, but they love the lifestyle. “It’s very fulfilling work,” Gelvosa says.

Josh Gerritsen/Donkey Universe Farm

America’s heartland is graying. The average age of a farmer in the U.S. is 58.3 — and that number has been steadily ticking upward for more than 30 years.

Overall, fewer young people are choosing a life on the land. But in some places around the country, like Maine, that trend is reversing. Small agriculture may be getting big again — and there’s new crop of farmers to thank for it.

Fulfilling Work, Noble Work

On a windy hillside just a few miles from Maine’s rocky mid-coast, it’s 10 degrees; snow is crunching underfoot. Hairy highland cattle munch on flakes of hay and native Katahdin sheep are mustered in a white pool just outside the fence. Not far away, heritage chickens scuttle about a mobile poultry house that looks a bit like a Conestoga wagon.

Read more here: http://www.npr.org/2015/01/03/374629580/a-young-generation-sees-greener-pastures-in-agriculture