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Farmland Preservation for a New Generation

As the average age of farmers in Pennsylvania rises, farmland is being developed at a breakneck pace. According to the United States Agriculture Census, between 2012 and 2017, the commonwealth lost more than 6,000 farms, with 400,000 acres transitioning out of farmland. We know for national and state data that farmers entering agriculture today are different in several key ways than their predecessors, and that young farmers are facing enormous barriers to accessing affordable, secure farmland. In this session, Karen Gardner, Pennsylvania policy associate for the National Young Farmers Coalition, will share the results of the Coalition’s extensive research and conversations with young farmers in Pennsylvania, highlighting the challenges young farmers face when accessing land and detailing strategies to keep farmland in agriculture and affordable to farmers. She will be joined by a farmer from the Coalition’s network in Pennsylvania, and a participatory discussion will follow the presentation.