NEWBURYPORT – As a growing number of young Americans leave desk jobs for the rewards of farming, they face real obstacles getting started and finding the right resources to help nurture their success.
Greenbelt, Essex County’s Land Trust, in partnership with Land for Good, will host a screening March 28 at the Firehouse Center for the Arts of “Farmers for America,” a documentary that examines their triumphs and the challenges they face trying to make ends meet.
“I spoke to farmers all across the country, and everyone was saying it was hard for young farmers to get started,” said the film’s director, Graham Meriwether, in a press release. “I started filming with young people around the country who have successful farms and also who face some challenges.”
The film will be shown at the Firehouse, starting with a meet and greet and refreshments at 6 p.m. The film screening will begin at 7 p.m. followed by a discussion with young local farmers who are continuing Essex County’s agricultural history.
Alprilla Farm and Grant Family Farm in Essex, Cedar Rock Gardens in Gloucester and Iron Ox Farm in Topsfield supply local restaurants and distribute seasonal vegetables and flowers.
“Gardening is an important dynamic to a strong community,” said Ford Tucker Smith of Cedar Rock Gardens. His partner, Elise Jillson, gave up a potential career in corporate finance after a life-changing trip to Guatemala.
Sophie Courser of Alprilla Farm grew up on a New Hampshire farm and traveled to farms around the world before settling in Essex, where she helps manage the CSA, keeps an eye on the beef herd and is the resident ox teamster, the release said.
With her partner, Noah Kellerman, they are meeting the changes brought by more consumers flocking to farmers markets, embracing farm-to-table dining, and wanting to know more about where their food is coming from.
With 60 being the average age of today’s farmer, and rural America losing population as the cost of land and equipment soars, the film reveals the people waiting to take their place. The young local farmers will discuss the practices they are championing and the obstacles they must overcome.
Tickets for the film and discussion are $10 and available through the Firehouse box office, which includes the meet and greet. Farmers are admitted free of charge. More information can be found at www.ecga.org/events.
For more about Land for Good, visit www.landforgood.org.