The Young Farmer Network Mission

We strive to create an environment within which people of all ages and agricultural backgrounds can cultivate personal and professional relationships across state borders. We work towards a supportive landscape for farmers and prospective farmers in developing socially, ecologically, and economically sustainable farm businesses, and fulfilling lives.

The Young Farmer Network Statement of Purpose

Young Farmer Network (YFN) connects farmers, aspiring farmers, and farm allies from all social, racial, and economic backgrounds. The farmer-driven, regional network is accessible and open to all. YFN fosters community and cooperation, working from the production side towards strong local food systems and economies, and enduring farm businesses. Inspired by an agrarian tradition of neighborly collaboration, YFN addresses the unmet needs of beginning farmers by creating opportunities for intergenerational community and knowledge sharing. In learning about the history of land and labor, we strive towards a more just and equitable food system and future. We look to the intersections of social categories including race, class, and gender to build an agricultural agenda towards food justice. We learn from the wisdom of the margins.

GUIDING VALUES

  • We aim to build a network with non-hierarchical form, within which every participant is equally valued, and through which farmer-to-farmer education is prioritized. Through our exercise of this network mentality, we value the fundamental worth of diversity in our fields and our community.

  • A strong social network of farmers supports resilient community. (Thus Young Farmer Nights are the heart of our work.)

  • We establish organizational links between young and beginning farmers, and more traditional or old-school farmers;

  • We envision ourselves as an agent of change within the greater context of agricultural community, helping to evolve the cultural identity of local, regional, and national agriculture;

  • We actively welcome people of every age, race, class, farm type, and ability into our agricultural community;

  • Racial equity and a culture of inclusivity are crucial to our work;

  • We encourage growth, development and diversity in all types of all types of agriculture, including food, fiber, forestry; and make connections between practitioners and issues in terrestrial farming, aquaculture, fisheries, plant-based industries and forestry;

  • We connect with practitioners and thinkers in other fields, including: justice and community building; food and the culinary world; and environmentalism;

  • We work at the intersections of race, class, and gender oppressions towards a food system that emphasizes justice, and learns from modes of individual and community empowerment developed in historical justice movements;

  • We respect and learn from the margins;    

  • We support resilient agriculture in the face of climate change;

  • We encourage and support the economic viability of new farm businesses through financial planning, collaborative marketing and branding efforts;

  • We actively engage with other agriculturally-minded organizations towards the goal of mutually beneficial networking and collaboration;

  • We work towards the sustainability of our lives, farms, environment, and organization.

  • Educational opportunities should be useful and affordable;

  • We work towards opportunities for land access and transfer, intergenerational culture and community, and mentor relationships.

 

YFN is a chapter of the National Young Farmers Coalition, helping us connect to a national policy voice.