I have been working with Dakota Rural Action on implementing a program to get more individuals and families growing and producing here in eastern South Dakota.
The Farm Beginnings program, developed by the Land Stewardship Project, includes classes, mentorship, and farm tours/skill lessons to help beginning farmers learn how to get growing/producing, and focuses on sustainability and profitability in farm enterprises.
We talk a lot about how difficult it is for young people (or even not-so-young people) to transition into farming. This is one method that has proven successful in other states where it has been implemented.
I have been drafting a letter to my past CSA members and farmers market customers asking for support. While I don’t make a habit of using my mailing list to solicit donations, Farm Beginnings is a program that could really make a diffference in the number of sustainable family farms and the availability of local food in our region.