On my Day Off this week, I spent my day with the FarmHer film crew, a cable network television show. I had five hours to share my story, show my side of the road and talk about not only my contribution in helping Nezinscot Farm be successful but also how I got here and the next generation of farmers.
The day was fast paced. We started in the bakery with fresh bread coming out, sat for an interview, meandered out to the pastures where the sheep were waiting for another paddock to be opened up, checked on two of the beehives, trimmed a few of our angora rabbits, harvested some lemon balm, sage, and lavender flowers to make housemade smudges, toured the fiber studio and then made a nourishing lunch to close our the shoot of homemade pizza and salad.
During my interview, one of the questions was directed around advice I would give to a young woman wanting to be a farmer and any other pertinent information I thought would be helpful with the story. I mentioned the idea that people need to do things that make them happy and focus less on the motivation to make money. Starting small and growing from profits, and getting as many different experiences on as many different farms as possible before settling down was key. This led into a short discussion of how do we encourage the next generation to want to farm when so many of their mentors, family members, and friends are discouraging them? Of course, this was a topic that I have been immersed in for many years now, mainly through continued education classes with Bates and other higher education institutes across the U.S. It wasn’t until today that I realized that perhaps the way to change peoples discouragement of the next generation to be farmers is to pose the question differently. What does the future farmer, or food producer look like through these peoples eyes? If there are no farmers, where does our food come from? Perhaps Farm Her’s films will get that message out and allow people to really see farming through a different sense.
In the meantime, Nezinscot Farm will continue to host young adults and encourage the next generation to grow up to be farmers! Our current intern from France, Angelique Jolbert, is here through her agricultural college studying the process of cheese making as an opportunity to create a more sustainable farm system at her own farm when she returns home. I feel proud to be able to offer this opportunity to her and hope that she has the strength when she returns home to help move her family farm in a direction that will allow her the flexibility and creativity that she learned while here at our farm.
Until next time