You can’t take care of the environment if you can’t take care of the people doing the work.”Noelle fogg elibol
Everyone knows that farming is hard work, but a lot of us still fantasize about quitting our 9-5 and starting a small farm somewhere. So how hard is it to start farming, really?
According to the USDA, only 1 out of 2 small farms survive beyond their first five years, and out of those, only 1 out of 4 survive after 15 years. Why is it so hard to make a living by growing food?
To separate farming fact from fiction, we sat down with Noelle Fogg Elibol of Kitchen Table Advisors, a nonprofit dedicated to making agriculture a more viable business model for small farmers. In this fascinating conversation she share lessons about the economics of farming and how we can to make farming a sustainable way of life for generations to come.
Episode Show Notes:
- Learn more about Kitchen Table Advisors and check out their Instagram to stay up to date on their work.
- The USDA defines a small farm as any farm with gross income under $250,000 per year.
- It’s important to note that according to the USDA, “while most U.S. farms are small – 91 percent according to the Census of Agriculture – large farms ($250,000 and above) account for 85 percent of the market value of agricultural production.
- Noelle is proud to have worked with Javier Zamora of JSM Organics
- If you want to get in the weeds of agriculture, there’s no better place than the most recent US agriculture census, conducted in 2017.
- The Heal Food Alliance does important work to build a food system that is healthy, accessible, and affordable for everyone.
- Noelle recommended reading “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” by Michael Pollan, “Eating Animals” by Jonathan Safran Foer, and “The Fate of Food” by Amanda Little to better understand our food system.
- Noelle also recommended watching the documentary Food Inc.