New Farmer History

Recognizing and Learning from Those that Came Before

The cyclical nature of agriculture, in terms of the annual planting and harvesting of crops with the natural passing of the seasons as well as the economic ups and downs of managing a farm business, is commonly recognized. These cycles are studied, valuable information analyzed and dispersed, though it is possible to, if not forget, at least fully recognize the challenges and perseverance of those who farmed before.

To a large extent, America's economic vitality, technological advancements, and cultural identity has been grounded in an agricultural foundation. In such a society, particularly where land is abundant, a focus on farm ownership and economic independence becomes common place. However, despite access to vast amounts of productive land and a heavy reliance on agricultural labor and skill, persons seeking to make a living from the land have faced similar challenges throughout our nation's history.

Understanding these challenges, recognizing the individuals that overcame or assisted others in doing so, provides the opportunity to pay homage to our beginning farmer predecessors as well as to learn from their experiences. The resources provided here are meant to provide an introduction to these lessons.

A History of U.S. Agricultural Land Tenure Policy

New Farmers of America