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The University of Massachusetts Amherst offers online education leading to college degrees in Sustainable Food and Farming.

A GROWING NUMBER OF YOUNG AMERICANS ARE LEAVING DESK JOBS TO FARM

locally-grown

Liz Whitehurst dabbled in several careers before she ended up here, crating fistfuls of fresh-cut arugula in the early-November chill.

The hours were better at her nonprofit jobs. So were the benefits. But two years ago, the 32-year-old Whitehurst – who graduated from a liberal arts college and grew up in the Chicago suburbs – abandoned Washington, D.C., for this three-acre farm in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.

FARMERSShe joined a growing movement of highly educated, ex-urban, first-time farmers who are capitalizing on booming consumer demand for local and sustainable foods and, experts say, could have a broad impact on the food system.

For only the second time in the last century, the number of farmers under 35 years old is increasing, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s latest Census of Agriculture.

This new generation can’t hope to replace the numbers that farming is losing to age. But Continue reading A GROWING NUMBER OF YOUNG AMERICANS ARE LEAVING DESK JOBS TO FARM