Cedar Circle’s NEW Teen Agriculture Program

Training the Next Generation of Regenerative Farmers

The Challenge

Farmers grow food to feed our entire country, yet make up less than two percent of the population.

We depend on this undersized workforce, in the face of very urgent climate change impacts, while acknowledging there is another impending crisis for our food system: the aging population of farmers.

The average age of a farmer in the United States is 57. As many of our farmers approach retirement age, we have to ask: “Who will feed us in the future?”

Now is the time to invest in our youth—to inspire and support young leaders to create a dynamic and resilient food system. The next generation of producers will need to understand not only how to grow food, fuel, and fiber, but also how to face the challenges presented by climate change and a growing population.

Our Response

In 2024, Cedar Circle is piloting a new teen agriculture program—a natural extension and expansion of the role we have played in promoting an understanding of where food comes from, how people and nature interface, and the ways in which food builds and promotes community. This workforce development program for teens will broaden our focus to training the next generation of producers.

Over the course of ten weeks in the summer, a cohort of 5-8 teens will participate in this paid opportunity* featuring hands-on, service-based, and classroom learning experiences. Working alongside Cedar Circle farmers, they will get to fully engage in the process of managing crops—from seeding, planting, harvesting and weeding to greenhouse production, irrigation, and more. Through classroom and service learning opportunities, both on-site at Cedar Circle and off-site at local farms in the community, they will also gain an understanding of:

  • Economics and business principles of small-scale farming
  • Land management & habitat restoration
  • Place-based ecosystem studies & data collection
  • Strategies for overcoming barriers facing local agriculture (i.e. land access)
  • Job skills, such as: cover crop and plot rotation, fencing, machine maintenance, and basic animal husbandry

Teens will leave the program with core job skills, inspiration for a career path, and a great breadth of knowledge on agricultural systems. Regardless of whether they choose to pursue a career in agriculture, they will gain the knowledge and skills to be conscientious citizens and to make a positive impact on the world.

Teens considering a future in agriculture, horticulture, botany, ecology, climate science, agricultural education, environmental education, outdoor education, or any field that requires well-developed group communication skills are invited to apply.

More information coming soon!

*The Teen Agriculture Program at Cedar Circle is a paid opportunity, thanks to generous funding from The Harris and Frances Block Foundation.

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