Rachel and Steffen Schneider, two of the co-directors of Hawthorne Valley’s Institute for Mindful Agriculture, recently were featured in RSF Social Finance’s Fall 2015 Quarterly. The Schneiders spoke with John Bloom, RSF’s VP of Organizational Culture, about the need for a new narrative in agriculture.
Excerpt from the interview:
John: What would the new narrative say to the next generation that would tell them farming is a viable vocation? We have a problem if no one wants to grow our food.
Rachel: It has to be economically viable. There are plenty of young people who struggle to become farmers, even though they know it’s going to be an uphill climb. Many of those young people are drawn to agriculture because they want to be connected to where their food comes from. They want the visceral experience of that connection.
Steffen: It needs be a part of every young person’s path of growing up to meet farmers or to be on a farm. We need more farmers. Less than 2% of the population is involved in farming. Part of being a farmer, agriculturist, or gardener today is to want to be more visible. That wasn’t necessarily something I would have embraced if you had asked me ten, fifteen, twenty years ago.