Young Farmers Restore Rural America

Publication turns spotlight on young farmers restoring rural America.

| January/February 2011

Whether we live in Manhattan or Peoria, we depend on a healthy countryside to supply the food we eat. So it’s welcome news that across the nation, a hearty crop is taking root. Smart, young people are changing the world by returning to the roots of American agriculture – roots steeped in a tradition and culture of diversity, quality and respect for the Earth. A new book, Youth Renewing the Countryside, captures their remarkable stories. 

Young Farmers Restoring the Countryside:
Dan and Tracy Hayhurst 

Roy and Kaylee Benjamin 
The Bauman Family 
Amadou Diop

Produced in partnership with young writers and photographers, Youth Renewing the Countryside profiles the next generation of rural caretakers through individual stories from every state. Some of these young leaders are building on their history and culture. Others are creating uniquely 21st-century opportunities like renewable-energy businesses or Internet-based companies. Some are fighting for environmental or social justice. Many have found a foothold in building a stronger, healthier and more healthful food system. 

These young people are not just renewing the American countryside, they are changing the world. Here are excerpts from some of their stories. 

The noisy little farmer 

The name Chubby Bunny Farm conjures up a hearty laugh, but it’s serious business for master farming couple Dan and Tracy Hayhurst. 

With their young daughter, Beatrice, the Hayhursts dwell in a sheltered valley in northwestern Connecticut, bordering on verdant wilderness preserves and removed from the hustle and bustle of nearby metropolises. This is where they grew up. Despite their rural location, Tracy and Dan know the big city well: About half of their Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) clients live in New York City. The other half is from their local community and includes former teachers, principals and friends from high school. 

Darcy Ludeman
12/17/2010 12:32:58 PM

Nice to see the younger people going into farming/ranching again. Does my heart good! Great article!

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