Farms for a New Generation in California - American Farmland Trust

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Farms for a New Generation in California

AFT understands the importance in supporting all types of farmers for a resilient food supply for generations to come. 

The Farms for a New Generation program provides training, resources, and support to new farmers and historically underserved farmers and allows them to succeed in the nation’s leading agricultural state.

The Future of Farming

Our nation is at a crossroads. One-third of farmers are older than 65 and 40% of the land is expected to change hands in the next 15 years.

California agriculture is a $54 billion dollar industry, and the state’s patchwork of 76,400 farms and ranches produce more than 400 commodities, including more than a third of the country’s vegetables and two-thirds of its fruits and nuts. Many of these foods are only grown in California.

But like the rest of the nation, the future of California agriculture will require a new generation of diverse farmers. These new farmers will need greater access to quality land, culturally relevant technical assistance, and enhanced access to government programs and resources.

Supporting a New Generation

Our multilingual and culturally competent staff works with partners to ensure farmers have the support they need—from technical assistance to policy development:

  • Through workshops, field days, in-person and virtual gatherings, and radio shows, we ensure diverse and often unreached farming communities have access to the knowledge they need to be successful.
  • We provide technical assistance to new and historically underserved farmers and partner with organizations across California to ensure farmers understand the technical and financial services available to them.
  • Land Access. We connect farmers with the resources they need to be able to secure land. Our training program helps agricultural service providers guide beginning farmers and ranchers in making smart land access decisions.

Did You Know?

  • 27% of current principal operators in California are beginning farmers—farmers with less than 10 years of experience managing their current operation.
  • The ownership of 40% of America’s agricultural land will be in transition within the next 15 years. Underserved farmers represent an important resource for this agricultural land transition.
  • In the last agricultural census, 19% of California producers identified themselves as people of color.
  • Data show farmers of color tend to own less land, make less money, and receive less government support than their white counterparts.
  • More than 14,000 farmers and 83% of farmworkers are Latino, yet only 3% own farms in California.

Technical Resources from AFT

AgDaily -- Mexican Immigrant Sows Good in Community

Miguel Avendaño Reyes, originally from Oaxaca, Mexico, is feeding his Fresno community. He talks about the challenges and opportunities of being a Mexican immigrant who is now a California farmer.

Read Article

AgDaily -- Inmigrante Mexicano siembra bien en su comunidad en California

Miguel Avendaño Reyes, originario de Oaxaca (México), está cambiando esta situación. Reyes se trasladó a Estados Unidos en 2003, con 18 años, para trabajar en campos de cultivo de California, Oregón y Washington. Reyes procede de la agricultura oaxaqueña y buscaba una oportunidad para convertirse en su propio jefe siendo agricultor tras mudarse a Estados Unidos.

Lea el artículo

Radio Bilingue: Series Mensuales con American Farmland Trust


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A collection of resources from AFT and other organizations for the next generation of farmers in California.


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