Announcements

Job offersmore »





Tweeting Growers

Top 5 - yesterday

Top 5 - last week

Top 5 - last month

Exchange ratesmore »




Why new farmers are joining the ag industry

Upstart University - an online training program for modern farmers - launched March 16, 2015. In under two years, it built 30+ courses on building farm businesses, designing effective grow systems, and managing crops. Now, Upstart U has hit a major milestone: 1,000+ members (and counting).

Over the years, the platform has found that a "focus on the farmer" approach is the best way to empower those members. That means building courses that answer real questions, giving pragmatic advice and recommendations, and crafting a community around the students. The first step in implementing that approach? Understanding the people that the platform is serving. Upstart U's 1000 students of farming offer a clear snapshot of the people who will build our future of farming.



A recent survey of Upstart University students showed these common themes when starting a farm:
  • To escape the dissatisfaction with current job for something significant
  • To address local food issues like food deserts & availability
  • To promote health by supporting healthy lifestyles with fresh food
  • To support a family and leave a meaningful legacy
  • To impact social, economic, and ethical issues
  • To achieve job independence and autonomy
  • To take advantage of the economic opportunities of the developing industry, and benefit from its profitability
"Understanding where new farmers are coming from is important," says Upstart U presenter Amy Storey. "It allows people like us at Upstart University to create the best resources for them, yes, but it also helps consumers to get connected with them; it gives them a face in a society that really wants to know their farmers."

The motivations of new farmers like those enrolled at Upstart University become very clear in survey responses like these.

This snapshot of the different motivations and values that compel people to start farms could be linked to the overall growth that has occurred in the urban farming and indoor farming industries.



Upstart University Director Halle Brake believes that not only are the people and the industry growth linked, but interactive. "The urban and indoor farming movements have fueled industry growth, and industry growth opens up new doors for farmers in return. It's a positive feedback loop."

The acceleration caused by this loop has created the perfect environment for new farmers to start farm businesses. We've seen hundreds of farmers in 2016 start local farms based on the motivations above. As they find traction in their local markets and achieve their farm goals, their successes add weight to the movement. And as we see these farmers doing incredible things in their communities with resources like Upstart University, it becomes clearer and clearer: Now is the time to start a farm.

Readers interested in sharing their insight into the industry or why they're passionate about farming, can join the Upstart University conversation using #UpstartYOU or by visiting university.upstartfarmers.com.

For more information:
Bright Agrotech
1461 Commerce Drive
Laramie, WY 82070
307-288-1188307-288-1188
brightagrotech.com

Publication date: 1/5/2017

 


 

Other news in this sector:

5/22/2018 New Zealand: Bumper crop of winners from Young Vegetable Grower
5/22/2018 Australia: Sundrop Farms looking for investors
5/21/2018 US (TX): Urban farm uses hydroponic systems to teach, feed Dallas
5/21/2018 US (CA): European vegetable takes root in Solano County
5/21/2018 US (MI): Nature meets technology at urban growers
5/21/2018 From tarantulas to turtles
5/18/2018 “Combining greenhouse veggies with other regional wares”
5/18/2018 US (WY): Pastor and hydroponic lettuce grower preaches local
5/17/2018 US (WV): Federal funding to support agriculture program for veterans
5/17/2018 NL: Tomato grower cuts free from fossil fuels
5/17/2018 'Combining outdoor and greenhouse cultivation at two locations’
5/17/2018 US (OR): Volcano Veggies packs 2 acres of food into 200 square feet
5/16/2018 British family producing some record-breaking vegetables
5/15/2018 CAN (BC): Yellowpoint grower does big business in microgreens
5/15/2018 US (WI): Hydroponic greenhouses give grower fast start in wet spring
5/15/2018 US (WI): Farmers take Mother Nature out of the equation
5/14/2018 US: Maine student receives Bigelow scholarship
5/11/2018 The future of hydroponics in Indonesia
5/11/2018 Puration announces acquisition of Canadian Cannabis Farmers Co-Op
5/11/2018 From military to microgreens: the story of Nordamark