Smart, young people are returning to the roots of American Agriculture-- roots steeped in a tradition and culture of diversity, quality and respect for the Earth. Full of brilliant color photographs, Youth Renewing the Countryside shares remarkable stories of young people in each state changing the world through rural renewal. Produced by Renewing the Countryside in partnership with young writers and photographers across the country and with support from SARE and the Center for Rural Strategies.
Young people are vital maintaining vibrant, rural areas. We need them for their ideas, their energy, and their ability to see things differently. We need them to steward out land and our history. We need them to grow food, harvest energy, and manage our forests. We need them to help created a new, more sustainable, more just economy.
A growing number of young people are embracing life in rural communities and small towns. As we set out to find them, we were inspired--not only by how many we found but by their ambition and dedication. Some are building on their history and culture. Others are creating uniquely, twenty-first-century opportunities like renewable energy businesses or Internet0based companies. Some are fighting for the environmental or social justice. Many have found a foothold in building a stronger, healthier food system.
We use the word "countryside" broadly. While many of these stories come from very small towns or vast tracks of land in the West, others are set in urban areas. A piece of the countryside can prevail amidst impinging urban development; it can exist in an urban school garden or at a farmers' market.
The young people showcased here are representative of many more we didn't have room to include. The stories we have included are told by another inspiring group-- young writers and photographers who beautifully captured them for these pages.
This material is based upon work that is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture through the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.