The number of young farmers rising in New Hampshire

09/24/2015 Posted by Vegan Power

New Hampshire is bucking a national trend by increasing the number of young farmers entering the field, literally.

The 2012 Agriculture Census numbers for the country are coming out and a snap shot provided by the federal government last week shows New Hampshire has increased the number of farmers aged 25-34 years by 31 percent since the last census in 2007.

A more detailed analysis of the census is due out in late spring, but things are looking up in the Granite State, state Agriculture officials believe.

There were 4,166 New Hampshire farms in 2007 and that number is up to nearly 4,400 by 2012 an increase of 5 percent.

The amount of land also in production is up and that has been a trend that has been cited in the past two census reports.

In 2007, there were 471,911 acres in production in New Hampshire. Looking back to 2002, that number was 444,879.

Agriculture officials in the state are optimistic and note that the number of smaller farms with less than 10 acres in cultivation are also growing.

Eating local, the explosion of farmer's markets and popularity of going to farms themselves to pick-your-own as a recreational activity has helped farm production.

 

Number of young farmers on the rise in NH


John Sandri could be sitting in a cushy air conditioned office somewhere. Had he chosen that path, he might have even had a secretary, a company car and he surely would have been on his way, rung by rung, to the top of the corporate ladder.

Instead, he's standing in chicken poop. And he wouldn't have it any other way.

Sandri, 30, is one of hundreds of young people in New Hampshire forgoing the 9-to-5 world in favor of the sunup-to-sundown cycle of farm life.

Out of 4,391 farms in New Hampshire, 113 are owned by farmers younger than 35, with a dozen run by farmers 25 or younger, according to the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension. Stretch your definition of young to 44 and the numbers go up to 217 farms owned and operated by young people.
- See more at: http://www.newhampshire.com/article/20150712/NEWHAMPSHIRE02/150719812/-1/newhampshire01#sthash.UxWR0GFT.dpuf

Number of young farmers on the rise in NH


John Sandri could be sitting in a cushy air conditioned office somewhere. Had he chosen that path, he might have even had a secretary, a company car and he surely would have been on his way, rung by rung, to the top of the corporate ladder.

Instead, he's standing in chicken poop. And he wouldn't have it any other way.

Sandri, 30, is one of hundreds of young people in New Hampshire forgoing the 9-to-5 world in favor of the sunup-to-sundown cycle of farm life.

Out of 4,391 farms in New Hampshire, 113 are owned by farmers younger than 35, with a dozen run by farmers 25 or younger, according to the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension. Stretch your definition of young to 44 and the numbers go up to 217 farms owned and operated by young people.
- See more at: http://www.newhampshire.com/article/20150712/NEWHAMPSHIRE02/150719812/-1/newhampshire01#sthash.UxWR0GFT.dpuf

Number of young farmers on the rise in NH


John Sandri could be sitting in a cushy air conditioned office somewhere. Had he chosen that path, he might have even had a secretary, a company car and he surely would have been on his way, rung by rung, to the top of the corporate ladder.

Instead, he's standing in chicken poop. And he wouldn't have it any other way.

Sandri, 30, is one of hundreds of young people in New Hampshire forgoing the 9-to-5 world in favor of the sunup-to-sundown cycle of farm life.

Out of 4,391 farms in New Hampshire, 113 are owned by farmers younger than 35, with a dozen run by farmers 25 or younger, according to the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension. Stretch your definition of young to 44 and the numbers go up to 217 farms owned and operated by young people.

Though he didn't have numbers from previous years to compare it to, Seth Wilner, a farm business management field specialist with the UNH Extension in Sullivan County, said the number of young farmers has been increasing the past few years.

"The local food movement is burgeoning across the country," Wilner said. "And that local food movement has allowed it to be profitable (to farm) .And young people are starting to see it as a viable career option."

Wilner said that, for a long time, consumers weren't as curious about where their food came from or how it was processed. However, the slow-food movement, as it's sometimes called, has shined a light on the health and environmental benefits of eating locally produced and grown food, and as a result, a new generation is being exposed to a new way of eating.

"The pendulum is starting to swing back to local food," Wilner said. "You have a consumer population now that isn't just looking for the cheapest food possible and so now they're willing to spend more on artisanal foods and locally produced foods."

Growing market

And that's certainly has been a boon to Sandri, on his farm, Farmer John's Plot, in Dublin. Much of Sandri's success can be attributed to the small farmstand he set up at the Dublin General store, selling at farmer's markets and the 50-plus member community-supported agriculture (CSA) customer network he's been able to start.

"I think if we didn't have the farmstand, we'd even have enough (produce) to have a 100-member CSA," he said. "And we're looking at expanding."

Before Sandri, who grew up in the Westmoreland and Dublin areas, became a farmer, he was studying entrepreneurship at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in upstate New York. But instead of going right to work after graduation, Sandri decided to enlist in the Peace Corps, where his job was to offer business advice and assistance to farmers in rural Moldova in eastern Europe.

"I started out as an agriculture consultant teaching the farmers small business skills, but I ended up learning a lot about farming," Sandri said. "I started to read everything I could about farming and learning as much as I could from the people. And I just couldn't stop reading about all of it. I just became very passionate about it and wanted to do it.

"There was a lot they didn't have there but they had such a strong community, which I saw was really lacking back home, and it was all built around agriculture. So I started to feel like I could be more useful by coming back and trying to do something in the community."
- See more at: http://www.newhampshire.com/article/20150712/NEWHAMPSHIRE02/150719812/-1/newhampshire01#sthash.UxWR0GFT.dpuf

Number of young farmers on the rise in NH


John Sandri could be sitting in a cushy air conditioned office somewhere. Had he chosen that path, he might have even had a secretary, a company car and he surely would have been on his way, rung by rung, to the top of the corporate ladder.

Instead, he's standing in chicken poop. And he wouldn't have it any other way.

Sandri, 30, is one of hundreds of young people in New Hampshire forgoing the 9-to-5 world in favor of the sunup-to-sundown cycle of farm life.

Out of 4,391 farms in New Hampshire, 113 are owned by farmers younger than 35, with a dozen run by farmers 25 or younger, according to the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension. Stretch your definition of young to 44 and the numbers go up to 217 farms owned and operated by young people.
- See more at: http://www.newhampshire.com/article/20150712/NEWHAMPSHIRE02/150719812/-1/newhampshire01#sthash.UxWR0GFT.dpuf

Number of young farmers on the rise in NH


John Sandri could be sitting in a cushy air conditioned office somewhere. Had he chosen that path, he might have even had a secretary, a company car and he surely would have been on his way, rung by rung, to the top of the corporate ladder.

Instead, he's standing in chicken poop. And he wouldn't have it any other way.

Sandri, 30, is one of hundreds of young people in New Hampshire forgoing the 9-to-5 world in favor of the sunup-to-sundown cycle of farm life.

Out of 4,391 farms in New Hampshire, 113 are owned by farmers younger than 35, with a dozen run by farmers 25 or younger, according to the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension. Stretch your definition of young to 44 and the numbers go up to 217 farms owned and operated by young people.

Though he didn't have numbers from previous years to compare it to, Seth Wilner, a farm business management field specialist with the UNH Extension in Sullivan County, said the number of young farmers has been increasing the past few years.

"The local food movement is burgeoning across the country," Wilner said. "And that local food movement has allowed it to be profitable (to farm) .And young people are starting to see it as a viable career option."

Wilner said that, for a long time, consumers weren't as curious about where their food came from or how it was processed. However, the slow-food movement, as it's sometimes called, has shined a light on the health and environmental benefits of eating locally produced and grown food, and as a result, a new generation is being exposed to a new way of eating.

"The pendulum is starting to swing back to local food," Wilner said. "You have a consumer population now that isn't just looking for the cheapest food possible and so now they're willing to spend more on artisanal foods and locally produced foods."

Growing market

And that's certainly has been a boon to Sandri, on his farm, Farmer John's Plot, in Dublin. Much of Sandri's success can be attributed to the small farmstand he set up at the Dublin General store, selling at farmer's markets and the 50-plus member community-supported agriculture (CSA) customer network he's been able to start.

"I think if we didn't have the farmstand, we'd even have enough (produce) to have a 100-member CSA," he said. "And we're looking at expanding."

Before Sandri, who grew up in the Westmoreland and Dublin areas, became a farmer, he was studying entrepreneurship at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in upstate New York. But instead of going right to work after graduation, Sandri decided to enlist in the Peace Corps, where his job was to offer business advice and assistance to farmers in rural Moldova in eastern Europe.

"I started out as an agriculture consultant teaching the farmers small business skills, but I ended up learning a lot about farming," Sandri said. "I started to read everything I could about farming and learning as much as I could from the people. And I just couldn't stop reading about all of it. I just became very passionate about it and wanted to do it.

"There was a lot they didn't have there but they had such a strong community, which I saw was really lacking back home, and it was all built around agriculture. So I started to feel like I could be more useful by coming back and trying to do something in the community."
- See more at: http://www.newhampshire.com/article/20150712/NEWHAMPSHIRE02/150719812/-1/newhampshire01#sthash.UxWR0GFT.dpuf

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