By: Tiffany Thompson, agricultural communication senior
With the average age of the American farmer increasing to 58, the time has come for the younger generation to step into the production agriculture industry in order to ensure food security in the future.
On March 7, over 80 Cal Poly students, faculty and community members gathered on campus to watch Farmers For America, a documentary about inspiring and educating a new generation of agriculturalists. This film, produced by Graham Meriwether and narrated by Mike Rowe, addresses the connection between producers and consumers, changing market demands, and challenges that young farmers face through telling the stories of innovative young farmers.
“It was so eye opening to realize that there are big issues present and alive in the farming world and really the solution to many of those issues was coming together as a community and being conscientious about the decisions we make,” a Cal Poly Career Counselor who attended the event said.
The young farmers featured in the film represented a wide array of the agriculture industry and farming practices. Through responding to consumers with new ideas, the next generation of agriculturalists is able to solve problems and find success.
These problems cannot be solved by just one sector of the agriculture industry, though. One Agricultural Education faculty member said, “The best message from this event is there is room for everyone in agriculture.”
Those who attended the event left with a better understanding of American agriculture and the role they can play in the industry. “This film really put a face and purpose to the science I am learning,” a wine and viticulture freshman said.
I planned the Farmers For America screening for my senior project. The event would not have been possible without our generous sponsors, Whalebird Kombucha, Alexandre Family EcoDairy Farms, Scott Brownell, and the Brock Center.