In the age of social media,
revolution happens in images
that grab us—sometimes in just 140 characters—and make us care enough to act.
That’s the goal of a group of young ag enthusiasts from rural Alberta, Canada, who founded the FarmOn Foundation.
“With Canada losing 60 percent of their young agricultural producers in the last 15 years, leaving only 9.1 percent of farmers under the age of 35, it was mission critical to form an organization that existed solely for the benefit of young farmers and seeing them succeed,” FarmOn declares.
Rich in youth and vigor, this dedicated crew is out to inspire young farmers to action by equipping them with the tools, knowledge, and hands-on skills needed to increase the profitability of their agricultural businesses.
Last year, they launched a movement called #FarmVoices in conjunction with Earth Day to celebrate farmers, while giving them a chance to tell their stories and share images of the work they love.
Genius idea, right?
“Young people have been at the forefront of every important social movement in history,” the founders say. “#FarmVoices is raising the profile of farmers by sharing their stories with the world, one image at a time.”
According to FarmOn member Tom Fesnoux, Earth Day 2013 was a huge success, with over 2,000 stories and photos being shared by farmers from 23 countries around the globe. “Now we are preparing to launch and share our newest #FarmVoices video for this year’s Earth Day celebration. We would love to invite you to join the movement and consider coming on board to help support more farmers.”
Here are three simple steps you can take to become involved:
1. Share the #FarmVoices Earth Day video:
2. Invite other farmers or groups you know to participate in the day.
3. Share your own story at #FarmVoices.
I love this idea and message; simple, positive, encouraging and full of possibility! We need to find ways to encourage farming as an entrepreneur endeavor for young people. With a nation waking up to getting healthier and eating higher quality foods, farming can cater to the Eat Local movements to build business clientele. Since post WWII, families have moved to suburbia and children have had little or no contact with the agriculture industry. Food is so prepackaged and reconstituted in fast food, that it hardly resembles where it came from. The rural high schools in Florida have always had a FFA (Future Farmers of America) program and some even offer a formal 4 year ag curriculum for students interested in farming and animal production. But those programs a few and nothing similar exists in the city schools. And today’s youth are going to see @#FarmVoices on their Twitter feed so I hope they check it out!
With so many of our youth lost and aimless, because they don’t fit in to the college mold, how wonderful if they could fit into the earth’s mold! It’s an option that doesn’t even occur to the vast majority of kids. As you say, Winnie, city kids rarely see farms and ranches and self-sustaining acres.
You can’t question, let alone find the answer, if it’s not part of your vocabulary!
Thank you so much for sharing this day! We really appreciate the help.
You made my day a bit more positive, Sarah!