The current leadership team at USDA – Vilsack/Merrigan – has devoted ample time and resources to encouraging young people to farm. There is good reason for this type of outreach: the 2007 Census of Agriculture reports that the average age of the principal farm operator was 57.1 years. Just 28 percent of farmers were younger than 45 years old, with the remaining 72 percent 45 or older. Clearly, the future of our food supply critically depends on new entrants into the farm sector. (for a publication discussing the age structure of farmers in 2007 please see www.agcensus.usda.gov/Publications/2007/Online…/farmer_age.pdf).
In this spirit, two Food Studies students at NYU (Jeanne Koenig and Christina Ciambriello, pictured above; the poor lighting is my doing) have organized a panel discussion: Who Grows Your Food? Meet the Next Generation of Farmers that will be held at NYU on Monday night at 7 pm. The event – coincidentally taking place on Food Day - is open to all, and is free of charge. The event features young and beginning farmers, and is intended to facilitate a discussion as to why (1) they chose to farm and (2) which farming technology they adopted, and why. We are lucky enough to have both Professor Marion Nestle give opening remarks and Vice Dean Beth Weitzman moderate the panel. The keynote will be given by Gus Jones, a veteran farmer who recently moved to NYC. If you are in NYC on Monday, please attend: we all hope to see you there. The official flyer follows.
Who Grows Your Food? Meet the Next Generation of Farmers
Monday, October 24, 2011
Kimmel Center for University Life – Eisner & Lubin Auditorium
60 Washington Square South
On October 24th, National Food Day, the NYU Food Studies community and the NYU Sustainability Task Force welcomes you to join them for a panel discussion.
People of all ages and varied backgrounds are reinventing themselves with a return to the land. For both organic and conventional farmers, the diverse reasons for choosing this track tends to coalesce around themes of environmental sustainability and reconnecting to the food we eat.
The assembled panel of beginning farmers living and working in New York State will provide insight into the motivations and realities of this seizing of the fields. This event will facilitate a timely conversation about the existing state of farming, addressing the reasons behind choosing to farm as an occupation and why farmers decide to utilize the various agricultural techniques that they do.
Welcome Notes by Marion Nestle, Paulette Goddard Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health
Keynote by Gus Jones, farm manager of Snag Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Gardens Heritage Farm in Staten Island
Moderated by Beth Weitzman, Vice Dean of The Steinhardt School of Education, Culture, and Human Development
Heather Sandford & Brad Marshall–The Piggery, Ithaca
Rafael Aponte – Just Food Farm School NYC
Viraj Puri – CEO, Gotham Greens
Chango Reefe – Groundswell’s Summer Practicum in Sustainable Farming and Local Food Systems and the Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmers (CRAFT)
This event is co-sponsored by the NYU Department of Food Studies, Nutrition, and Public Health, the NYU Sustainability Task Force, the Community Agriculture Club at NYU, and NYU EarthMatters!
To secure your reservation, please RSVP here.
Admission is free, but a ticket is required.
NYU tickets available online through NYU HOME October 20 or in person with valid ID.
Non-NYU tickets available at door day-of
Questions: NYU Ticket Central 212-352-3101