Mixing with Mendocino’s young farmers

We had the good fortune to come across the Greenhorns’ Young Farmer Mixer event in Redwood Valley, California while we were in the (vague) area. After an epic effort up hill and down dale we made it to Frey Vineyards for the party.

The Greenhorns are a not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping young and beginner farmers in the US. Severine, the energetic director of the Greenhorns is an inspirational and formidable force – an interview with her for Grist is worth a read. She told me that farming is the most empowering thing a person can do and that people have to wake up to that fact. She asked me how many years of work I thought I had left in me and then, having ascertained my age, told me that I could count on at least 30 more of gainful employment. She reckons that 15 years is all it will take to change the face of agriculture from the bottom up. So I can look forward to being there and taking part in the revolution (if I want)!

Severine has made a film that we saw an edited version of at the party. It’s a great pep talk, based on inspirational young farmers she has met. Her closing gambit in the film is at a forum in Washington DC where she is addressing politicians on the work of the Greenhorns, and the motivated and determined young farmers of America. To paraphrase, her rallying cry – ‘Obama talks about shovel-ready, how about shovel-sharpened!’ Indeed.

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