cultivating good food,
healthy land and #ruralvitality
Family farms and ranches producing wholesome, nutritious food and profiting from land stewardship, rather than despite it, have been the root of American prosperity for generations. These homegrown stories of hardworking farmers and ranchers are reminders of the vibrant agrarian culture that exists in the USA.
Reed Youngbar and his wife Jessica Hart started Swift Microgreens, a local, year-round microgreen farm, in 2018 in Billings, Montana. In June, Reed and Jessica were unable to continue growing microgreens. Like thousands of other U.S. farmers, their financial return did not cover the time and money spent producing. They’ve decided to shut down their farming operation and focus on their food waste recycling company Swift Buckets.
Farmer Amy Young runs Young Roots Farm in Baker City, Oregon. Young Roots Farm is a small, ever-diversifying, woman-owned and operated farm raising food mindfully for family and community. Amy has committed her farm to improving the land through regenerative agriculture. “People have to have food if they want to survive and how that food is grown determines whether or not the planet is going to survive,” Amy says.
John Brown is committed to building healthy soil. He says healthy soil creates opportunity through higher yields, better water storage, drought resistance, less erosion, healthier food, and carbon storage. “When you get enough diversity, and when you get enough concentration of that diversity and the right biological stimulant, things happen that are outside of what is supposed to be possible,” John says.
Log Hollow Farms is a permaculture farm in Chehalis, Washington. Farmer Rohn and his wife Amy grow food sustainably, provide retreat space for visitors, and host a plethora of workshops and activities on sustainability and off-grid living. “I want this place to bring people together,” Rohn says, “where urban and rural people, people from all backgrounds and all pasts can come together in a beautiful place and learn from one another and enjoy good food.”
An amendment of the Wyoming Food Freedom Act in 2017 allows local producers to sell raw milk. Christine Hampshire went from selling raw milk to friends and family to selling raw milk around the entire county. Christine runs Cross E Dairy in Leiter, Wyoming. Her approach to raw milk relies on sanitation, freshness and health.
The National Young Farmers Coalition found that access to land is the number one challenge new farmers and ranchers face. Patrick is one of the thousands of new farmers looking for farmland.
Thanks to legislation passed in 2015 and updated in 2017, the local food movement is blossoming in Wyoming. The Wyoming Food Freedom Act enables producers, like Joe Wesnitzer, to sell directly to consumers. This Act encourages the expansion of agricultural sales by farmers’ markets, ranches, farms and home-based producers.
New farmers Matt and Lindy Geraets started the Capital City Farmers’ Market in Pierre, South Dakota with their friend Julie Bolding. Together, they are connecting Pierre to locally grown food.
Proponents pitched Lost Valley Farm as a rural economy booster. The reality of the operation, and operations like it, could have permanently devastated the area.
Rosebud Economic Development Corporation (REDCO) builds Homegrown Prosperity by connecting Sicangu Lakota Oyate communities to local, traditional food.
Food Sovereignty Program Coordinator at Thunder Valley, Ernest Weston, has big goals for his community.
Ellen is the Chairperson for the La Grande Community Garden. She loves watching the garden unite the community.
Hyatt Family Farm is a family run, pasture raised pork operation in Milbank, South Dakota. The farm has a mission to educate and nourish the community.
The Nash Family runs Nash Farms in Carbon County, Montana.
Wyoming rancher Judy McCullough has been fighting against big meat packer conglomerates for decades.
Sara has spent the past five years embracing the chaos that comes with running a ranch, marketing a product and becoming a mom.
Trish Jenkins and Jeremy Smith are new farmers in Spearfish, South Dakota.
Christina connects with her ancestors and community through her passion for wholesome food.
Aaron’s family was mocked for switching to organics in the 60s…today their operation is flourishing.
After finding refuge from oil fields the Mogen family’s health and livelihood was threatened again by a factory farm.
Gilles is adamant that, in order to have a fair trade system, we need to prioritize communities over corporations.
Ferguson Family Ranches is a mid-scale operation utilizing rotational grazing, conservation easements and the help of the entire family.
Depending on the time of the year, Ian Caselli has two very different jobs.
The Bourgaults are local producers outside of Sheridan, Wyoming.
Vegetable gardener Carol helped ward off methane development in Clear Creek Valley during the methane boom in Wyoming.
Tony ranches in Crawford, Colorado. He’s speaking up in defense of cattle and talking about the importance of proper management.
Mabel has fought for American farmers and ranchers for 30 years.
Brittany is a local producer in Luther, Montana. She’s fighting for markets that work for her, her family and her community.
Monica helped the Cottage Food Law pass in Colorado.
Jeanie and Terry run a cow-calf and a specialized wagyu operation in Birney, Montana.
Karlene Hunter and her business partner Mark Tilsen created Native American Natural Foods and the Tanka Bar to help her community prosper.
The Shaw family farms and ranches in Sheridan, Wyoming.
Third-generation rancher Steve Charter is using soil regeneration to better his operation and mitigate climate change.
Farmhand Stephanie Rael works at Peaceful Belly Farm in Boise, Idaho. She is fighting for the protection of farmland in the county.
Tom wants to see farms supporting families again. In 2017, the USDA noted that the average American farm operated at a net loss — requiring off-farm income and health insurance just to break even.
On his sixtieth birthday, Wink Davis gave himself a present. He and his wife, Max Eisele, bought a farm in Hotchkiss, Colorado.
Doug Yankton Senior, the Crow Hill District Representative of Spirit Lake Nation and the Tribal Vice Chairman, is fighting the proposed Devils Lake factory farm with the support of Spirit Lake Nation.
Devils Lake and the surrounding counties are threatened by a CAFO that would produce 44,000 piglets a year. The area is known for serious flooding, making it a huge environmental concern for intensive animal agriculture.
Scott Horner is a local producer in Paonia, Colorado. He explains why the Farm Bill is important for everyone — not just farmers.
Susan shares her thoughts on the Green Revolution and how the movement altered American farming forever.