What is a greenhorn?
A novice or beginner. A new entrant into agriculture.
What is a young farmer?
We use the terms 'greenhorn' and 'young farmer' interchangeably to refer to any farmer 57 years old or fresher. Many thousands of growers from all kinds of backgrounds and demographics fall into this category. Why focus on young farmers? Because the average age of the American farmer is 57.
What are The Greenhorns?
The Greenhorns is an organization by and for young farmers - run almost entirely with volunteer power, by young farmers, activists, filmmakers and an extended network of collaborators.
What do you mostly do?
Our work is various and quite ambitious. Mostly we produce events, media and resources for and about young farmers in America. We organize events for young farmers and mixers all over the country. We organize educational/celebrational events. We host a weekly radio show that gets between 4500 and 5000 downloads per week. We run a blog that gets about 1000 hits per day. We made a documentary film called "The Greenhorns" and are making a webseries called OUR LAND. We've researched and organized four guidebooks for young farmers, plus two literary compilations, Almanac and Dispatches. We created a mapping project of young farmers. We give talks + organize panels. We cofounded a national coalition for young farmers. We are a passionate network of new agrarians!
Why a film?
"The Greenhorns" documentary film project is a promotional and recruitment tool for reversing the crisis of attrition in American agriculture.
We believe there is great sense for selecting a film as a key part of a general strategy of engagement. The film gives community organizers an easy tool for calling what constitutes in effect a town meeting, a forum to launch strategic conversations about food and farm policy. Recent films on the state of American agriculture such as "King Corn" have proven the potential of documentaries to reach a national audience and to enliven discourse in this way.
Where are you based?
We are based in New York's Champlain Valley, with a little headquarters in the town of Westport. But our team is spread out all over the country: we consist of farmers, artists, filmmakers, organizers, and more.
Why young farmers? What's the problem with the status quo?
The average farmer is 57. America loses 2 acres of farmland per minute. One third of today's kindergardeners will develop type 2 diabetes. The last 30 years have seen a protracted crisis in American agriculture. We have fewer farmers, less land, a degraded soil base and intensifying corporate control over production, processing and technology. But the tide is starting to turn.
How can I interact with the Greenhorns network?
First thing is to join our mailing list to hear about film screenings, coalition news and greenhorns events. Another way is to join our online database: www.serveyourcountryfood.net. Our blog www.thegreenhorns.wordpress.com gets about 1500 hits per day, mostly young farmers -- so if you are organizing an event in your area, know of a great land opportunity, or have young farmer relevant media to share, send it in! We've also got a collaborative data-sharing site, a wiki! (http://foryoungfarmers.wikispaces.com) with resources for young farmers. Have a look at the resources there and please add those that we've forgotten.
How many greenhorns are there?
Currently our network of young farmers numbers over 60000 coast-to-coast. We know there are still many more young farmers out there, and many more even younger folks who want to be a part. If you know of brave + fabulous young farmers who ought to be in our network please nominate them on our site.
Can I make a suggestion?
You can email Eliza at the blog with useful bloggable content (firstname.lastname@example.org), email@example.com for most other things. Generally we are most open to suggestions fused with volunteership.
What About Getting Political?
Please visit National Young Farmer Coalition site, youngfarmers.org. Yes indeed. We've hitched our frisky greenhorn pony to the long wagon train of agricultural reformers joining forces with NSAC and others. Barns around here are falling down.
Can I work for/with the Greenhorns?
As a grassroots non-profit, Greenhorns functions mostly as a volunteer operation and needs your talents and support! However, many of our long-term volunteers become paid employees. If you want to get involved in events coordination, graphics, film production, research, fund-raising, web design, tabling, outreach etc., we'd love to hear from you. Please send a letter of interest demonstrating your understanding of our work, detailing your relevant skill-set and outlining your potential availability. Our team is spread out over the country, distance is not always a limitation.
I'd like to invite Greenhorns to do an event.
Super. Our events are usually put on in partnership with local organizers/farmers/restaurants/nonprofits. It takes a team to do these events all around America! Lets put our heads together and assemble one that makes sense in your young-farmer-cluster-region. Events coordinator Patrick Kiley is your contact point. See our existing events calendar, and know that we usually can't muster more than 2 events per month. Then email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'd like to invite Severine to speak.
Please contact email@example.com.
I need help coordinating a young farmers panel/ young farmer speakers in my school.
Email us. We have a bunch of new educational resources aimed at school + high-school-aged greenhorns. Look at our national map of young farmers @ www.serveyourcountryfood.net.
Please email us with any questions not covered here!