Can Female Dairy Farms Save Our Milk?

There’s no question that the U.S. needs more young people to take up farming as a profession. Two-thirds of the nation’s farmers are at least 55 years old. And while urban farming, which attracts a number of young people, is taking off across the country, it’s not enough to meet our farming needs. Especially when it comes to dairy farmers.

According to Treehugger, the majority of young people taking up farming are going into vegetables or small livestock herds. “Dairy, by contrast, is a tougher industry to enter because of the greater land requirements and higher cost of equipment,”Treehugger explains. “Dairy drives 70 percent of the economy in Vermont, as well as many other parts of the northeastern U.S., but it’s not growing fast enough.”

Now, not only are efforts underway to attract more young people to small-scale dairy farming, but to attract women to the work as well. In a partnership with organic yogurt giant Stonyfield Farm, the National Young Farmers Coalition is working to bring more attention to female dairy farmers through its Bootstrap Blogger series.

Five young female dairy farmers write the blog series about their life as a dairy farmer, submitting one post per month for an entire year. On top of that, three of the female dairy farmers have also released companion videos, recently made public the National Young Farmers Coalition.

“These videos are particularly interesting because the world of U.S. farming has long been dominated by men, but these indomitable and impressive young women show that it doesn’t have to be that way,” Treehugger explains. “With perseverance, humor, and a great love for the land, these women are working hard to build viable, sustainable farms and preserve the future of U.S. dairy farming in the process.”

Check out the videos below.

Chaseholm Farm Creamery, Pine Plains, NY. Sarah Lyons Chase is a third-generation dairy farmer. [Video]

The Golden Yoke, St. Ignatius, MT, founded by Laura Ginsburg and Connie Surber. [Video]

Clover Mead Farm, Keeseville, NY. Run by Ashlee Kleinhammer. [Video]



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