Barriers to Getting Into Farming for the First Time
Between land access and costs and expertise there are a lot of barriers to entry to getting into farming. Some companies such as Walden Local Meat want to create markets and infrastructure to help facilitate new farmers, but CEO Philip Giampietro says there are still challenges.
Giampietro… “If you look kind of at a national level, what farms are doing is they're growing in size. The farms that still exist are growing in the number of land, and the average age of farmers is going up. None of them in and of themselves are particularly bad. But if you take that to its extreme, it starts to say like, well, if that continues, there could be issues.”
Giampietro has noticed a bit of a different trend in the Northeast, where there is a growing number of small farms popping up, but said it’s important that they know what they’re getting into.
Giampietro… “We wanna do more to start to promote and teach folks about farming, but we have folks come to Walden all the time and imagine farming is one thing and quickly learn that it is another. So I am always the first to acknowledge and say: farming is incredibly hard work, and we wanna make sure that people know what they're getting into. So we're working really hard from a Walden perspective to start to think about how do we bridge the gap between people who wanna get into farming, wanna learn about farming, to what farming actually is. Getting people from here to there.”
There are still numerous challenges to getting into farming as a career without being born into it.