297: Casey Holland on Young Farmers Making a Difference.

Enriching the community, becoming the next generation of hope.

Casey is a native New Mexican and young farmer committed to affecting positive social change around small-scale sustainable agriculture in the Rio Grande Valley. She graduated in 2012 from the University of New Mexico with dual degrees in Psychology / Peace Studies, and Sociology. As a requirement for her minor she did an internship with the SouthWest Organizing Project’s: Project Feed the Hood. There, she found her calling when she realized the importance of the way in which our food is produced in addressing many of the issues we face locally, nationally, and globally.

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In 2015, she started organizing with the local chapter of the National Young Farmers Coalition, which provided her numerous opportunities to speak with government officials and learn about policies that impact her community.Since then she strives to make access to nutritious, enriching food more affordable for underprivileged families and helping her community reconnect to its agricultural roots & culture.

In This Podcast:

We meet the well-spoken farm manager Casey Holland who explains why she cares so much about her community and providing healthy food to her customers.  She also introduces us to the National Young Farmers Coalition and tells us what they have been doing in her area.  She has gained a lot of wisdom in a short amount of time as a farmer, and her vision and drive gives us a lot of hope for the future.

Listen in and learn about:

    • Being raised in a small agricultural town but only having a few chickens
    • Why she started to get interested in growing food
    • Taking an internship with Project Feed the Hood
    • Realizing the truth about how food SHOULD taste
    • Some of the tricks of adding vegetables to foods people are already eating
    • Being in the Documentary “The Conservation Generation”
    • More about the National Young Farmers Coalition which is open to young and/or new farmers
    • Being a “Bootstep Blogger”
    • Getting involved in the larger picture of farming
    • Running “the Red Tractor Farm” – a diversified, intensive, primarily vegetable farm
    • Their customer base and why they don’t seek to increase their CSA size
    • The varieties of crops they are focusing on and how they are meeting their community oriented goals
    • The business aspect and the profit aspect that can hinder some starting farmers
    • How farmers can be rich
    • Difficulty in obtaining land, especially with student loans
    • Some of the initiatives that the NYFC is working on at this time
    • Nutrition Prescriptions written at the local hospitals specifically for fresh vegetables (Another EPIC Call out)

As well as:

Her failure – Planting all of her onions and leeks in one field they were unfamiliar with

Her success – That she is still farming

Her drive – The world news and realizing the work she is doing is crucial to the world we are facing

Her advice – Remember that when you think you don’t have resources, you are actually surrounded by them

Casey’s Book recommendations: 

Sowing Seeds in the Desert: Natural Farming, Global Restoration, and Ultimate Food Security – by Masanobu Fukuoka

The Glass Bead Game: (Magister Ludi) A Novel – by Hermann Hesse

How to reach Casey:           

Website: RedTractorFarm.net

Facebook: Casey Holland


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