2012-03-15 / Editorial

How do you get them to return to the farm?

It used to be that we were a nation of farmers. But farming was a hard, demanding lifestyle. In the early 1900s people began migrating away from rural America to the cities where factory jobs were plentiful and life was easier.

Today we are experiencing a renaissance in local agriculture. People are concerned about where their food comes from. Food from large corporate farms shipped halfway around the world may not be the best for our health, the environment or the economy. An increasing number of individuals are choosing farming as a career and a lifestyle.

Bob Sutton, manager of the Jamestown Community Farm, is a vocal advocate of this back-to-the-land movement. With the assistance of the Friends of the Jamestown Library and the Conanicut Grange, Bob has put together a library program about local agriculture and youth.

The event starts at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 21, timed to coincide with the spring equinox. The evening will start with a short film about the growing national trend of young people returning to agriculture. That will be followed by a short presentation by several of our own islanders who are involved in farming, either as a lifestyle or as a career. See Page 5 of this paper for details.

Bob believes that local agriculture is vital to a healthy, sustainable community. He says that it is in the community’s interest to find ways to make sure that happens. Everyone, young and old, will find this program of interest. Parents might want to bring along their youngsters.

— Jeff McDonough

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