New Database Connects Students to Farming Mentors

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Photo by Getty Images/fatihhoca
Young, landless farmers are a growing population in need of mentorship.

An estimated 400 million acres of farmland will change hands in the next 20 years, and it’s not clear who’s in line to take it on. Less than 10 percent of farmers have a plan to bequeath their farms, meaning thousands have no viable option for keeping their land in production.

Sheri Salatin, marketing director of Polyface Farm (and Joel Salatin’s daughter-in-law), is striving to change that. Sheri’s experience lets her see firsthand how many young people are passionate about learning to farm, and how few opportunities exist to give them practical knowledge.

Frustrated about turning away hundreds of applicants each year for internships at Polyface, Sheri founded the Eager Farmer database to improve the accessibility of on-farm experience for people around the world. She aims to help landowners find farm managers; hook up landless farmers with property they can lease or purchase; and connect young people with experienced farmers who can mentor them. By cultivating these connections, Eager Farmer hopes to preserve America’s agricultural landscapes for the next generation.

The site makes it simple to post ads specifying whether you’re looking for a farmer or farm experience. International listings are welcome. Membership is free, but advertisements cost 10 to 20 dollars per month.

To learn more and receive a discount on your first ad, you can sign up for the Eager Farmer newsletter at Eager Farmer.