Our regional food security and the health of the Chesapeake Bay depend on training new farmers in sustainable and profitable practices, but the odds against new farmer success are daunting. High land prices, competition from cheap, mass-produced imported food, labor shortages, and just plain hard work for often small profit are steep challenges for the new farmer. To help new farmers meet these challenges, access to sustainable farming is critical. Our Beginner Farmer Training Program (BFTP) grounds new farmers in environmental, economic, and social sustainability from the get-go.
Demand for new farmer training has never been higher. The good news is that our region is experiencing an explosion of interest in farming from passionate young people and second careerists who are ready to take up the mantle. This fall, we received more than 220 applications for the 2019 BFTP class!
Together, we can launch the next generation of Chesapeake farmers and set them up for successful Bay-friendly farming. But we need your support. Named after the BFTP’s founders Cathy Roberts Tipper of Roberts Roost Farm and Jack and Beckie Gurley of Calvert’s Gift Farm, the Fund supports the program, ensuring that we can continue to provide accessible sustainable ag training to new farmers from all backgrounds, providing them classroom and hands-on experience, mentorship with experienced farmers, and connection to a supportive network of fellow farmers.
The time is now! Generous donors, including Cathy Roberts Tipper of Robert’s Roost Farm, Jack and Beckie Gurley of Calvert’s Gift Farm, and Susan and Steve Immelt, have already stepped up and offered to match dollar for dollar the first $10,000 donated to the Fund. What a great way to reach the Fund’s first fundraising goal of $20,000 by December 31, 2018.
Support the Tipper-Gurley Fund for New Farmers to help beginning farmers achieve commercial success.
Or you can send a check to 1114 Shawan Road, Suite 1, Cockeysville, MD 21030 noting Tipper-Gurley Fund in the check memo line. Email: dena@futureharvestcasa.