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At FarmStart our goal is to support a new generation of farmers. That means new people but it also means a new type of farmer, with a new approach to agriculture.
Our work has been inspired by many fantastic predecessors, including the Rodale Institute and their New Farm magazine and website.
We are often asked about the kind of new farmers we support. This question inevitably prompts us to struggle with definitions of scale and strategies for production and marketing. But the truth is that new farmers can operate at any size – from 1/2 acre to 3000 acres or more. They can make any amount of money, from $10,000/year to $200,000 or more. They can get into any type of enterprise or operation.
What sets apart the new farmers with whom we work is their approach to agriculture: how they farm and why they farm.
We think that John Ikerd’s Small Farm Today article, ‘The New Farm’ says it best:
“There is no simple description of the new farm, because sustainable farming operations must fit the ever-changing ecological, physical, and intellectual capacity of the individual farm and farm family. Each farm is different and continually changing. However, some general characteristics have become clearer with time, making possible a better understand of how sustainable farms must be organized and managed…”