When I was a child and asked the question “What do you want to be when you go up?”, becoming a farmer was not an option. Even while my grandfather was an orchardist, my own father was encouraged to attend university so that he would not have to face the hard work of continuing the family farm. Farming was not a valued profession.
At last, I think this might be changing. Recently I was inspired when I came across an article about the “face of new farmers” in Colorado. It was interesting to read the profile of this group as they closely resemble the apprentices at UBC Farm. Like us, the new farmers described in the article come from a wide range of backgrounds; often from urban areas, often women, often with university degrees, professional credentials and years of work experience in various fields. I found this comforting because I will accept any and all reassurance as I finally set out on this journey towards becoming a farmer.
As autumn sets in and our apprenticeship at UBC Farm nears its end, we have been talking more and more about our future plans. For me, starting a farm is not only daunting for all the challenges of organic agriculture, but also because of social expectations and ideas around what it means to be successful. I hope I can reconcile this by managing a farm that brings me both a livelihood and joy in my daily work.
To read to full article about new farmers in Colorado go to: http://www.ediblefrontrange.com/pages/issues/spring08/pdfs/theFace.pdf