What nobody told me about small farming: I canâ€™t make a living
J Thoendell stashed this in Business
On the radio this morning I heard a story about the growing number of young people choosing to become farmers. The farmers in the story sounded a lot like me â€” in their late 20s to mid-30s, committed to organic practices, holding college degrees, and from middle-class non-farming backgrounds. Some raise animals or tend orchards. Others, like me, grow vegetables. The farmersâ€™ days sounded long but fulfilling, drenched in sun and dirt. The story was uplifting, a nice antidote to the constant reports of industrial ag gone wrong, of pink slime and herbicide-resistant super-weeds.
What the reporter didnâ€™t ask the young farmers was:Â Do you make a living? Can you afford rent, healthcare? Can you pay your labor a living wage?Â If the reporter had asked me these questions, I would have said no.