From Community Farm Alliance’s beginning, maintaining a legacy on Kentucky farms has been a fundamental issue. Despite the creation of new and proven profitable farm models, Kentucky is not providing “a pathway to the land” for the next generation.
The Ag Legacy Initiative (ALI) not only works to identify the specific needs of beginning farmers but also provides them a support system that offers peer-to-peer learning, mentorship, access to resource information and a voice before policy makers to create the policies and programs that, just as tobacco once did, provides the technical, financial and marketing support to enable the next generation of farmers to begin their stewardship of Kentucky’s natural resources.
Because this effort is about “farmers without farms and farms without farmers”, CFA has named this effort the Agricultural Legacy Initiative. Ag Legacy has grown rapidly with a diversity of young, old, white, black, Hispanic, men, women and military veterans with a passion for farming.
We need more farmers.
The average age of Kentucky farmers is 57.6. Farmers, especially those growing for local and regional markets, can provide significant answers to the problems of food security, accessibility and energy. Their inherent land stewardship protects our water, biodiversity and social fabric. Our membership is made up of over 200 beginning and established farmers and leaders in Kentucky agriculture. Our farmers are innovative, thinking outside the box, and revitalizing local economies. They are vegetable growers, meat producers, tobacco growers, urban farmers, beekeepers, permaculturalists, value added producers, viticulturalists, and food entrepreneurs. Our farmers sell to grocery stores, food hubs, CSAs, and farmers markets. While our membership is high, we need to encourage more farmers to fill the demand for Kentucky agriculture.
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For more information, contact Carolyn Gahn: carolyn(at)cfaky.org