The Environmental Journal of Southern Appalachia

Displaying items by tag: young farmers coaltion

IMG 4916A group of farmers representing the Tennessee Chapter of the National Young Farmers Coalition gathers on the steps of the Tennessee capitol before lobbying representatives during Ag Day on the Hill.  Élan Young/Hellbender Press

Got sprawl? It’s past time to help young farmers access land

I’m not a farmer, I’m a hiker. I live in a shady mountain gap and can’t grow a fully ripe tomato in the summer — not to mention that the half-acre parcel of land that I call home includes a significant portion of river bed. But as a 20-year resident of rural Blount County, a gateway to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, I’ve watched the steady disappearance of farms over time, and I have wondered what can be done. 

This is why I rose at 4 a.m. for a trip to Nashville, planning to arrive before my alarm would normally sound. It will be my first time lobbying the state legislature and my first time meeting in person with the organizers of the Southeast Tennessee chapter of the National Young Farmers Coalition — known as “Young Farmers” — who I’ve been Zooming with for the better part of the year. We are all headed to Ag Day on the Hill to advocate for young and beginning farmers and the  preservation of farmland for future generations. 

Published in News