Expanding the Boundaries of Beginning Farmer Training and Program Development: A Review of Contemporary Initiatives To Cultivate a New Generation of American Farmers

  • Kim L. Niewolny Virginia Tech
  • Patrick T. Lillard Texas AgriLife Extension Service
Keywords: Adult Agricultural Education, Beginning Farmer, Best Practices, Sustainable Agriculture

Abstract

Beginning farmer training and program develop­ment in United States is one of the most significant yet poorly understood areas of agriculture, food system, and community development research and practice. This article offers a review of the social context in forming recent beginning farmer educa­tional programming in order to shed light on its develop­ment, purpose, and future trajectory. We provide several illustrations of best practices to support our main point that adult agricultural education for beginning farmers is taking on new forms and patterns to support and sustain a new generation of famers. As such it is vitalizing new opportunities to generate and exchange informa­tion and knowledge for sustainable agriculture. While these examples appear promising, the article concludes with recommendations for researchers and practi­tioners to expand the boundaries of what constitutes  meaningful education for beginning farmers who are interested in sustainable food system models and practices.

Author Biographies

Kim L. Niewolny, Virginia Tech
282 Litton Reaves, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061 USA; +1-540-231-5784.
Patrick T. Lillard, Texas AgriLife Extension Service
225 HFSB, Texas AgriLife Extension Service, College Station, TX 77843 USA; +1-979-845-8567.
Published
2010-08-12
How to Cite
Niewolny, K., & Lillard, P. (2010). Expanding the Boundaries of Beginning Farmer Training and Program Development: A Review of Contemporary Initiatives To Cultivate a New Generation of American Farmers. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 1(1), 65-88. https://doi.org/10.5304/jafscd.2010.011.010
Section
Growing New Farmers Call Papers