Young Farmers Podcast

By National Young Farmers Coalition

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crystle BRUCE
 Jun 13, 2019
love THIS TOPIC live IN A Farmer's TOWN


The internet is flooded with food photos, recipes and diet advice, partisan news, and farmer-inspired fashion, but who is listening to the farmers themselves? Farmers grow your food and manage nearly half of all land on Earth. It's time to pay attention to the policies, programs, and events that are shaping the future of agriculture. Our host, Lindsey Lusher Shute, co-founder of the National Young Farmers Coalition, provides a fresh, farmer-centric take on food and farm policy. We talk with policy makers, experts and advocates, and, of course, farmers, about the most critical issues facing farming in the U.S. and globally. Edited by Hannah Beal and recorded at Radio Kingston.

Episode Date
Looking Back on a Decade of Young Farmers
We turn the mic on Lindsey this week for the finale episode of our first season of the Young Farmers Podcast. The National Young Farmers Coalition's Sophie Ackoff, VP of Policy and Campaigns, and Holly Rippon-Butler, Land Access Program Director, join Lindsey in the studio to talk about the early years of the Coalition, big wins, favorite memories, and what's next.
Jun 20, 2019
Hemp, CBD, and the U.S. Green Rush
Hemp is no longer just for Canadian cereal companies and scratchy beige t-shirts. This low-THC strain of cannabis, think of it as the well behaved fraternal twin to marijuana, is as of the 2018 Farm Bill a legal crop in all 50 states. And the hemp hype is real, mostly because of CBD, a hemp extract that's popping up in everything from $8 cans of seltzer, to medicinal tinctures, and even Carl's Jr hamburgers. But if there's such huge consumer demand for hemp, and it doesn't even get you high, why was the crop criminalized in the first place? And now that it's legal, what does this mean for farmers across the country who want to start growing it? Jessica Manly talks with Michael "Mr. Hemp" Bowman and Ben Banks-Dobson of Hudson Hemp and Old Mud Creek Farm.
Jun 11, 2019
Karen Washington on NYC Food Security and Lifting Up a New Generation of Black and Brown Farmers
Karen Washington is one of the most influential food and farming activists of our time. From starting the Garden of Happiness in the Bronx, Black Urban Growers, and now Rise and Root Farm, Karen is modeling a new food system based on equity, social capital, and health. New York State has over 57,000 farmers, and less than 200 of them are people of color, and this disparity holds true in every state across the country. Karen challenges Governor Cuomo to meet with black and brown farmers to talk about the policies and programs needed to support their success in agriculture.
May 29, 2019
Who Owns U.S. Farmland?
The biggest problem faced by farmers across the country is access to land. Who owns it, who rents it—it all has a big impact on the kind of food we grow and who has economic opportunity in rural communities. Young Farmers' Land Access Program Director, Holly Rippon-Butler, sits down with Megan Horst, professor of urban studies and planning at Portland State University, to talk about who owns U.S. farmland, and whether or not this is shifting.
May 21, 2019
Looking to 2020: Climate Action, the Farm Crisis, and Politics in Rural America
Lindsey speaks with Matt Russell, an Iowa farmer and executive director of Iowa Interfaith Power and Light, an organization that brings people of all faiths together in conversation about critical issues, like climate change and the future of rural America. Matt sees an opportunity for farmers to be on the forefront of climate innovation and mitigation, and being in Iowa, he's in a great place to influence policy and the 2020 presidential debates-he's already influencing them, in fact, as co-author of recent New York Times Opinion piece, "What Democrats Need to Know to Win in Rural America."
May 15, 2019
"Growing Pennsylvania's Future" with Karen Gardner
"We need to understand the challenges young farmers are facing regionally in order to create solutions." Lindsey checks in with Karen Gardner, National Young Farmers Coalition's Pennsylvania Policy Associate, about what she's hearing from beginning farmers in PA, and the upcoming Pennsylvania Young Farmers Report, "Growing Pennsylvania’s Future: Challenges Facing Young Farmers and Recommendations to Address Them." Join the #morefarmers movement at *The Pennsylvania Young Farmers Report hits the internet later this month!*
May 09, 2019
Kate Greenberg: Young Farmer Becomes Colorado's Commissioner of Agriculture
Lindsey talks with Kate Greenberg, Colorado's new Commissioner of Agriculture, and former Western Program Director with the National Young Farmers Coalition. Lindsey and Kate check in about what it's been like to be the youngest person, and first woman, to hold this role in Colorado, as well as Colorado's plans to address climate impacts on agriculture, land access barriers, and to support its next generation of farmers and ranchers.
Apr 30, 2019
Mai Nguyen and the California Young Farmers Report
California produces more food than any other state in the nation. Over one-third of U.S. vegetables and two-thirds of U.S. fruits and nuts are grown in California. But drought, wildfire, and the impacts of climate change are increasing across the state. How are the farmers doing? And how are the young farmers doing? Lindsey talks with Mai Nguyen, Young Farmers' California Organizer, based in San Diego, who is also a heritage grain farmer, activist, and former climate researcher. Mai authored the 2019 California Young Farmers Report for the National Young Farmers Coalition which drops later this week.
Apr 23, 2019
Census Results Are In: We Need #MOREFARMERS
Last week, the USDA's NASS released the results of the 2017 Census of Agriculture, the first count in over five years of U.S. farms and ranches and the people who run them. What do we know now about the state of agriculture in this country? Lindsey talks with Erin Foster West, Young Farmers' federal policy director, about the rise in female farmers, decrease in farmers of color, and what the 6.4 million data points mean for the future of farming.
Apr 16, 2019
What Could the Green New Deal Mean for the Future of Ag?
What would the Green New Deal mean for the future of agriculture, and how can it support the food and farm justice movement in this country? Lindsey Lusher Shute interviews Eric Holt-Giménez, Executive Director of Food First, who recently wrote "The Green New Deal: Fulcrum for the farm and food justice movement?"
Apr 12, 2019
Rep. Antonio Delgado @ Radio Kingston
Lindsey is joined in the studio at Radio Kingston by freshman Congressman Antonio Delgado (NY-19) to talk about his hotly contested race for office, representing the needs of beginning farmers in DC, and how he's trying to reach across the aisle in an era of "political tribalism." After the show, Lindsey and Jessica debrief.
Apr 04, 2019
POTUS vs. WOTUS: What Side of the Clean Water Debate Should Farmers Be On?
Passed in 1972, the Clean Water Act (CWA) is one of the most progressive, influential environmental policies in U.S. history. The CWA is charged with keeping U.S. waters "fishable and swimmable," and protected from pollution. Recent proposed changes from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would rollback these protections by changing the legal definition of "waters of the United States" (WOTUS). Lindsey talks with law professor Mark Squillace about the details of the Trump administration's proposed changes and how they could impact agriculture and the environment.
Mar 26, 2019
Braceros: The Controversial History of US-Mexico Farm Worker Programs with Dr. Matthew Garcia
The Bracero Program began in 1942 as an agreement between the United States and Mexico to bring Mexican workers to the U.S. to replace men who were leaving farms to fight in World War II. The program didn’t end with the war, however, it actually grew by hundreds of thousands of workers, and continued until 1964, laying the foundation for our current agricultural guest worker programs. Lindsey discusses the program's history, and its intersections with contemporary immigration, labor, and food justice issues with Dr. Matthew Garcia, professor of History and Latin American, Latino, and Caribbean Studies at Dartmouth College.
Mar 08, 2019
Broken Promises: 4-H's LGBT+ Controversy
The 4-H program's mission statement includes "a promise to America's kids to reflect the population demographics, vulnerable populations, diverse needs, and social conditions of the country." In 2017, however, USDA administration pressured 4-H to retract its LGBT+ inclusion policies. Shortly after, John-Paul Chaisson-Cardenas, the progressive 4-H Youth Development Program director who had been working hard to boost equity and diversity, was fired. Lindsey speaks with Chaisson-Cardenas, Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy, then-director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), and investigative reporter Jason Clayworth about the implications of these actions and what's next for the youth leadership organization and its 6 million members.
Feb 25, 2019
The Young Farmers Valentine's Lovecast!
Happy Valentine's Day, y'all! To celebrate, we're talking with some of our farmers about L.O.V.E. We’ve got some tips from a couple that have been farming together for 44 years, a story of finding a farm partner and true love on “The Tinder,” and a surprise Valentine’s message for a certain Young Farmers Podcast host.
Feb 14, 2019
From Loss to Action Part 2 with the Washington Young Farmers Coalition, Farm Aid, and the National Farmers Union
*Warning: This episode deals with topics surrounding suicide, and may not be appropriate for all audiences.* Suicide rates among farmers and farm workers are among the highest of any occupation in the U.S. In part two of this series on farmer mental health, we talk to members of the Washington Young Farmers Coalition about the organizing they launched in response to the loss of founding member Justin McClane in 2017. We also hear from Matt Perdue of the National Farmers Union, Joe Schroeder of Farm Aid, and journalist Debbie Weingarten, author of the pivotal Guardian piece on farmer suicide, "Why are America's farmers killing themselves?"
Feb 08, 2019
Remembering a Young Farmer: From Loss to Action with the Washington Young Farmers Coalition
Warning: This episode deals with topics surrounding suicide, and may not be appropriate for all audiences. Suicide rates among farmers and farm workers are higher than in any other occupation in the United States. We start this two-part series with the story of Justin McClane, a founding member of the Washington chapter of the National Young Farmers Coalition, who we lost to suicide in 2017. Our hope is that by telling Justin's story, and sharing the powerful organizing his community of young farmers launched in response to his death, we can contribute to the effort to break down the stigma around mental and behavioral health, inspire policy change, and grow support for programs addressing the farmer mental health crisis in this country. If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Hotline at (800) 273-TALK (8255). You can also speak with someone directly at the Farm Aid Hotline at (800) FARM-AID (327-6243. For further resources, please visit
Feb 01, 2019
Seed Matters with Clif Bar's Matthew Dillon
This week, Lindsey talks with Matthew Dillon, Senior Director of Agriculture at Clif Bar & Company, about Seed Matters, the company's organic seed research initiative. We talk about the challenges of food labeling for consumers, the differences between organic and conventional seed breeding, genetic consolidation in the U.S. food system, and Clif Bar's ag policy efforts. Learn more about Seed Matters at
Jan 26, 2019
The Shutdown Show 2 with Secretary Tom Vilsack
Tom Vilsack served as the 30th U.S. Secretary of Agriculture under President Barack Obama. Prior to his appointment as Secretary, Vilsack served two terms as the Governor of Iowa, in the Iowa State Senate, and as the mayor of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa. We discuss what it is like to manage the USDA during a shutdown; the national economic impacts; whether farmers are really still in support of President Trump; and the immigration debate at the heart of it all.
Jan 16, 2019
The Shutdown Show with Politico's Helena Bottemiller Evich and Grain Farmer Andrew Barsness
Will 2019 be a year without the USDA? Lindsey speaks with Andrew Barsness, a young grain farmer in Minnesota, and Helena Bottemiller Evich, a senior food and agriculture reporter for POLITICO Pro, about the government shutdown and impacts on food and agriculture. Text ACTION to 40649 now to join our activist network and to let your Representatives know that young farmers need USDA agencies up and running ASAP.
Jan 09, 2019
Farm Bill Politics 7: We Have a Deal! Listener Q&A and Young Farmer Wins with Andrew Bahrenburg
After months of waiting, we have a farm bill! Just before 10pm on December 10th, the 2018 Farm Bill dropped. The next day, Senate passed it through in a landslide, and on Wednesday, the House followed suit. Andrew Bahrenburg, NYFC's National Policy Director, fields some listener questions about what it all means for young farmers and the future of ag.
Dec 14, 2018
Farming in a New Climate Reality with Mark Howden of the IPCC
In October, the The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a stunning Special Report on Climate Change. The study found that if greenhouse gas emissions continue at their current rate we will face devastating consequences across all sectors by 2040, much earlier than previously thought. The IPCC is "the single largest science-policy experiment in history" according to Professor Mark Howden, a Vice Chair of the IPCC and Director of the Climate Change Institute at the Australian National University. We talk with Mark about the report's findings, the politics of climate change in the U.S., and how farmers need to adapt to a new reality.
Dec 06, 2018
Poder Hablar: The Power of Young Farmers Stories with Isabel Quiroz
This week, we hear the powerful story of Isabel Quiroz of Tequio Community Farm in Mendocino, California. Isabel immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico four years ago, and was nervous about participating in the U.S. policy process, and about whether her experiences would be counted by Members of Congress. She shares with us about her journey to DC for our 2018 Convergence, and how becoming a young farmer advocate has helped her to gain a sense of agency as a U.S. citizen and to feel supported on her farm.
Nov 30, 2018
Farm Bill Politics 6: So, so close (+ lab-grown meat, ready to hit the shelves?)
Teaganne Finn, agriculture reporter for Bloomberg's BNA Washington Bureau, shares the latest on farm bill negotiations. The news? Things are actually moving forward. Teaganne's also been following the regulation of cell-cultured meat. Is it the meat of the moment, or the long distant future?
Nov 26, 2018
Giving Thanks
We're just returning from our Annual Leadership Convergence in DC, and we're especially grateful for all of the amazing young farmers in our Coalition, fighting for a bright and just future for agriculture. Listen in this week for some words of gratitude from Lindsey Lusher Shute, and an announcement on some changes ahead for the Coalition.
Nov 21, 2018
Failure to Warn: Monsanto v. Dewayne Johnson
After years of spraying, Dewayne Johnson, a groundskeeper, believes the herbicide Roundup, which contains glyphosate, caused him to develop Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, a rare and very painful form of skin cancer. So, he filed a case against Monsanto. Four years later, a jury awarded Mr. Johnson $289 million dollars in damages.
Nov 16, 2018
Leah Penniman on "Farming While Black"
This week, NYFC's Michelle Hughes interviews Leah Penniman, co-founder of Soul Fire Farm, food justice activist, and author of the new book "Farming While Black: Soul Fire Farm’s Practical Guide to Liberation on the Land." Leah talks about her history, her spirituality, and her work training the next generation of black and brown farmers to build a more sustainable and equitable food system.
Nov 09, 2018
Farm Bill Politics 5: #FARMBILLNOW
The 2014 Farm Bill has been expired since October 1st. What does this mean for young farmers and ranchers, and the USDA programs they rely on? This week, we catch up with Andrew Bahrenburg, our National Policy Director and guy on the ground in DC, about the effects of the expiration and fate of these so-called "stranded" programs. We also chat with USDA Economist Dr. Anne B.W. Efland about the history of the bill, and what's at stake if a new bill isn't passed this year. Also, a reminder to VOTE in the midterm elections this Tuesday, November 6th. In the meantime, you can take action today by calling your Reps and telling them that young farmers need a #farmbillnow. Text "FARM BILL" to 40649.
Nov 02, 2018
NPR's Dan Charles on the Dicamba Debate
This week, Lindsey talks with NPR's Food and Agriculture Correspondent, Dan Charles, about the controversy surrounding the herbicide Dicamba, and the drift damage it has caused to other crops and ecosystems across the country. The EPA will have the final say on whether farmers can continue to use Dicamba in the next few weeks.
Oct 26, 2018
Cooperative Power
In 1920, 14% of U.S. farmers were black - today less than 2%. Land ownership by Black farmers has also declined over the past 100 years, from 15 million acres to roughly 2 million acres. These numbers are tough, but some say they would be even worse without the leadership of the Federation of Southern Cooperatives. Lindsey talks with Cornelius Blanding, executive director of the Federation, about Black land loss, how coops are helping black and rural communities, and their work with young black farmers.
Oct 19, 2018
Welcome to the Young Farmers Podcast!
Welcome to the Young Farmers Podcast. It's time to pay attention to the policies, programs, and events that are shaping the future of agriculture. Farmer-centric interviews by Lindsey Lusher Shute, co-founder of the National Young Farmers Coalition. Edited by Hannah Beal and recorded at Radio Kingston.
Oct 18, 2018
Ndée Bikíyaa: The People's Farm
In celebration of Indigenous People's Day, Lindsey speaks with Clayton Harvey of the White Mountain Apache Tribe in Arizona about how farming has shaped his spiritual identity and helped keep Apache traditions and language alive in his community. Clayton shares how his journey to Standing Rock has influenced him, and inspired other indigenous young people to farm. His farm, Ndée Bikíyaa, has a mission of promoting personal and cultural health among White Mountain Apache through agriculture.
Oct 12, 2018
How did so many pigs end up in a floodplain?
The recent hurricanes in the southeastern U.S. have been a disaster on many levels; leaving economic, social, and environmental destruction in their path. In North Carolina, a locus of global pork production, continued flooding has also led to a livestock death toll in the millions. This week, Lindsey interviews Tom Philpott, former farmer, and current food and ag correspondent for Mother Jones, about the complex future of confinement meat production in the U.S., and the clean up poultry and hog producers face in the storm’s aftermath.
Oct 05, 2018
Facing Disaster, Head-On
Hurricane Florence has caused an estimated $1 billion in damages to farms in the Carolinas, and the destruction continues. Lindsey interviews Davon Goodwin, a North Carolina farmer and manager of the Sandhills AGInnovation Center, to find out what it looks like on the ground, how farmers are trying to recover, and what can be done to build resilience in the future. AND, the farm bill expires September 30th. Ryan McCrimmon of Politico's Morning Agriculture gives us the rundown on what to expect by, and after, the deadline.
Sep 28, 2018
Climate and the Future of Farming with Dr. Nathan Mueller
Can farmers save the planet? We all know that the weather impacts agriculture, but farmers are also changing the weather. Dr. Nathan Mueller, head of the Mueller Lab at UC Irvine, walks us through cutting edge research on the relationship between ag and climate, and the powerful ways farmers can steer global environmental change.
Sep 22, 2018
Farm Bill Politics 4: Down to the Wire
As the September 30th farm bill expiration date looms, Lindsey checks back in for a status update with NYFC's National Policy Director, Andrew Bahrenburg. What do the "Fab Four" have to do with farm bill conference negotiations? Will Congress pass a final farm bill in time? And what will happen to the programs young farmers rely on if they don't? Take action, and tell your Representatives that we need a #farmbillnow. Text "FARM" to 40649 today.
Sep 14, 2018
"Water is Scarce, Water is Rare"
Climate change is a hot-button political issue, but in the Western U.S., no one can deny that the drought and above average temperatures are real. Mike Nolan, a young farmer in Mancos, Colorado, gives an insider perspective on farming in extreme weather conditions, building resilience, and shares how an innovative conservation policy idea that started over beers and ended up in the Senate farm bill. What is the path forward for farmers in the arid West?
Sep 07, 2018
Bonus Episode: Vets Need Farm Bill Action
Today’s bonus episode is about an important program in the 2018 Farm Bill that needs your support: Farming Opportunities Training and Outreach (FOTO). Tiffany Washington, Navy Veteran from Austin, Texas, shares her personal journey to farming, and how farm bill programs are helping her find success.
Sep 05, 2018
OG Weather Nerds
It's hard to imagine anyone thinking more about the weather than farmers, but then again, there's Chief Meteorologist Mark Brusberg of USDA’s agricultural weather and assessments group. This week, Lindsey talks with Mark about the ways that drought, extreme weather, and the changing climate are impacting farmers and agricultural production globally and here at home. Mark also talks about "the blob," building farm weather resilience, and how farmers can keep track of it all.
Aug 31, 2018
An Extraordinarily Difficult, Uphill Battle.
Commodity farmers across the nation are struggling under the weight of low prices and tariffs, resulting in bankruptcies and crisis in farm country. In this second conversation with Roger Johnson, farmer and president of the National Farmers Union, we talk about how putting controls on production may be the toughest and most important battle for the future of agriculture.
Aug 24, 2018
Trade Wars Aren't Cool
President Trump's trade war is sending U.S. agricultural markets into shock. Roger Johnson, farmer and president of the National Farmers Union, talks us through the situation on farms, the $12 billion bailout, and what it all means for the future of U.S. agriculture.
Aug 17, 2018
High Holy Days of Farmers Markets
In celebration of farmers market week, we bring you an interview with Ben Feldman of the Farmers Market Coalition. Ben talks about the state of farmers markets across the nation; why farmers may soon have a hard time selling food to customers using SNAP/EBT; and how the farm bill could help farmers markets thrive.
Aug 08, 2018
Farmworkers are Farmers, too.
Immigrants make up nearly three-quarters of all farmworkers in the United States. Their labor is critical to US farms and consumers, but being an immigrant farmworker can come along with some major challenges -- from the risk of deportation to basic safety. Lindsey Lusher Shute interviews Iris Figueroa, staff attorney at Farmworker Justice, about these issues. They talk about who farmworkers are, the recent Goodlatte bill to change guestworker policy, and a proposal to give farmworkers legal status.
Aug 05, 2018
Minnesota Young Farmers Organize to Pass Innovative Law
Eric Sannerud of Mighty Axe Hops and the Central Minnesota Young Farmers Coalition talks about the campaign to pass the Beginning Farmer Tax Credit in Minnesota. This new law gives a tax credit to landowners who rent or sell their land to a new farmer. This year, a million dollars have been allocated for this bill and 162 farms were sold or rented to beginning farmers. Hear about how this ambitious group of young farmers stood up for the future of agriculture in the state and helped to solve one of its toughest challenges.
Jul 28, 2018
The Land Problem and a Bill for Governor Cuomo
In the next 5 years, 100 million acres of farmland will need a new owner -- yet finding farmland is the hardest thing for young farmers. Why is that? Holly Rippon-Butler, director of the land program at the National Young Farmers Coalition, talks about why it's so hard for farmers to find land, how land can be protected for farmers, and a bill that young farmers are asking NY Governor Cuomo to sign.
Jul 21, 2018
Farm Bill Politics 3: Talking Crop Insurance and Commodities with Ferd Hoefner
Ferd Hoefner, the senior strategic advisor to the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, schools us on how crop insurance and commodity programs work and why they're causing problems. This podcast is critical listening for anyone looking to understand the farm bill. Lindsey Lusher Shute interviews; Andrew Bahrenburg walks and records; Hannah Beal edits; music Lee Rosevere.
Jul 13, 2018
Farm Bill Politics 2: Senate Passes the Farm Bill
How do you pass a bipartisan bill these days? Lindsey Lusher Shute interviews Andrew Bahrenburg on the passage of the Senate farm bill. They cover the nutrition debate and midterms, an unexpected Cuba wrinkle, and what's next in the political process.
Jul 07, 2018
Farm Bill Politics 1: So Much Drama
What does it take to pass the farm bill? The House of Representatives voted in favor of a controversial Farm Bill on June 21st, and the Senate will vote on their version soon. Lindsey Lusher Shute interviews Andrew Bahrenburg, the National Young Farmers Coalition's policy director, about the highs and lows of farm bill politics. Stay tuned for Part II.
Jun 26, 2018