|If you’re having trouble viewing this email, you may see it online|
Growing the Next Generation of Farmers
The average age of American farmers is 58 and increasing. Less than 2% of the population in our country is now farming. Lomax is one way CFSA is working to develop new, younger farmers in the Carolinas. As Dylan points out, “We all have to eat, so we need people growing our food.”.
“When I learned that I (or insert: my mother, spouse, child, loved one, etc.) had a serious health condition, I began to learn of the link between nutrition and disease. I was astounded to learn that there is a link between the food we eat and eighty percent of diseases!” This is the most frequent answer we receive at CFSA when we ask people why they buy organic and why they buy from a farmer they can trust.
For Dylan Alexander, his diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis eleven years ago led to growing his own food and then growing for others on his own farm. “The ability of people to heal themselves through diet and natural supplementation resonated with me and spurred a change that has since redefined my path and purpose. Alexander Acres was created as a way to share this knowledge and the benefits of fresh, organic fruits and vegetables.”
As an aspiring farmer, Dylan learned of and was accepted into the CFSA Lomax Incubator Farm program. As a Farmer-In-Training (FIT) at Lomax, Dylan has access to land and equipment, mentoring, classroom instruction on the business of farming, and hands-on farm experience in organic practices and certification. Along with gaining skills, he is actually developing and managing his own agricultural business start-up. Now beginning his third year in the program, Dylan and his wife, Kelly, have moved to Concord from Charlotte and begun preparing to farm on land of their own in the next couple years.
At Lomax, Dylan has been developing some niche products to provide diversity and marketing opportunities in addition to growing the farmers’ market favorites. He grows microgreens at his home for the restaurant market and mushrooms on logs in the woods at Lomax. He has also become known for his skill at producing exceptional organic transplants which are valued by other farmers and home gardeners. Kelly is a graphic designer and, in addition to handling the website and social media for the farm, does canning and sauce-making which may lead to some value-added products eventually.
The bottom line for Dylan and Kelly is that they are committed to growing good, clean, healthy food and they want people to know what good, clean, healthy food can do for their lives. “The FIT program at Lomax made it possible for me to go from a home gardener to a farmer,” said Dylan. “I would have stumbled around trying to figure things out on my own and probably failed. At Lomax I have learned the skills I need, established a viable farm business and customer base, and have a network of resources and people to continue to help me succeed.”
Young farmers like Dylan and Kelly can’t do it without you.
Your gift today will provide the training and support another new FIT at Lomax needs to succeed and provide us ALL with the food we need in the Carolinas.
Please give generously.
You can donate online at carolinafarmstewards.org/give
or mail a check to CFSA, PO Box 448, Pittsboro, NC 27312
or call us at 919-542-2402
To read more about Dylan and Kelly, Alexander Acres Farm, on our Sweet Potato Blog, click here
To read more about the Lomax Incubator Farm and Farmers-In-Training Program, click here
|To unsubscribe from future mailings please click here.|