With a diminishing number of millennials interested in farming, is America facing a farming crisis?
Our family farms are disappearing. Big agricultural and government both share in the responsibility. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the number of farms in the United States has fallen from about 6.8 million in 1935 to only about 2 million today. That doesn’t mean there is less farming going on, though. It just means there is a club and the American farmer is not in it. It is an elite club for big agricultural corporations and they are producing more than ever. Our older generation is trying to hold on but as time and age set in the rules of the game have been slanted in favor of big agriculture so substantially that small farmers are finding they simply cannot compete anymore. According to Farm Aid, every week approximately 330 farmers leave their land for good. Farms today are fewer and bigger. Chihuahuan Desert Charities wants to see our youth re-energized with nature and get their hands in the dirt, learn how to grow and be leaders of a self-sustaining agricultural system. The future of agriculture is in their hands.
The USDA noted that last year:
the country is seeing growing numbers of very small and very large farms and declining numbers of mid-sized farms."
Agriculture is a necessary sector of any society. There is more than economic value for a country in the farming of crops or livestock because it’s the base of a person’s basic right and needs to food. Without the agricultural industry, we could not meet the demands for food and economies would not be easily supported.
We need to teach the next generation about the importance of agriculture because they will be the ones taking over.
There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is the danger of supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace.”
― Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac
The DYGUP & SUSTAIN Program is a non-profit dedicated to regenerative organic agricultural practices to teach the benefits of land stewardship in the Paso del Norte Region. DYGUP, an acronym for Developing Youth from the Ground Up, is available to youth ages 14-17. The SUSTAIN program targets adults over 18 and combines "Roots Of Success" Environmental Literacy Curriculum with intensive farmer training. The DYGUP/ Sustain Program has many partnerships in the community including Taylor Hood Farms, Backyard Farms LC, First Christian Church, and Las Cruces High-School. Chihuahuan Desert Charities is proud to be the fiscal sponsor for DYGUP & Sustain and support their important work in the Las Cruces community.
Support the DYGUP & Sustain Program at Legacy Farm in Las Cruces by visiting ChihuahuanDesertCharities.org