Farm Foundation® Announces 2023 Young Farmer Accelerator Program Cohort
Farm Foundation, an accelerator of practical solutions for agriculture, has announced its 2023 Young Farmer Accelerator Program cohort. This annual program seeks to actively engage farmers from 21 to 40 years old in a year-long series of interactive learning and networking experiences, focused on gaining a deeper understanding of a wide variety of agriculture, agribusiness, and government issues. The program also hopes to help young farmers build a strong, enduring network of peers and agribusiness and government contacts.
Young Farmers engage in a variety of activities, including developing working relationships with peers and a senior agribusiness/farmer mentor, attending Farm Foundation Round Table meetings to network and learn from industry leaders, and other unique opportunities for personal and professional development.
“The Farm Foundation Young Farmer Accelerator program is a great opportunity for producers from across the country to learn from peers with operations that are sometimes very different than their own,” says Jenna Wicks, Farm Foundation program manager. “Coupled with access to Farm Foundation’s broad network of food and ag industry leaders, the program participants have a rich and fruitful year ahead of them.”
The 2023 Farm Foundation Young Farmers
Jake Bailey, Mossy Creek Cattle. Jake Bailey is director of operations at Mossy Creek Cattle in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, where he has worked for the last nine years. Jake is a first-generation farmer and has wanted to be involved in the agricultural industry from a young age.
British Griffis, Harvest OG. British Griffis is the owner and founder of Harvest OG Urban Farm and Goods in Chicago. Harvest OG was established during the pandemic in an effort to provide immediate solutions to food accessibility issues that disproportionately affected communities of color.
Natalie and Matthew Heim, Rowdy Red Ranch. Natalie and Matthew Heim own Rowdy Red Ranch in Covington, Oklahoma. They raise Heartland Highland Cattle and feel passionate about making quality, all-natural, budget-friendly beef and food products available to everyone.
Corey Johnson, Johnson Farms. Corey Johnson is a fifth-generation farmer from Peotone, Illinois. He farms with his father, raising 800 acres of corn and soybeans, with certified organic and conventional acres of both. The operation utilizes cover crops, no-till, and strip-till on all acres.
Blake Lanphier, Historic Wagner Farm. Blake Lanphier is the farm manager at Historic Wagner Farm in Glenview, Illinois, a position he has held since 2016. He oversees daily production, maintenance, and the Glenview Clovers 4-H club, as well as his diverse team.
Darius and Shameeka McKoy, 12:03 Farm. Darius and Shameeka McKoy are first-generation farmers. They own 12:03 Farm, a 38-acre farm in Faison, North Carolina. The farm has been in operation for 75 years.They both recently retired from the United States Air Force: Darius after 22 years of service with seven combat tours, Shameeka after 20 years of service.
Teresa Thomas, Crazy Plant Bae. Teresa Thomas is founder and owner of Crazy Plant Bae, a houseplant business in the Tremé district of New Orleans. In addition to selling plants, the space functions as a community space and as a local artisan showcase.
Learn more about the Young Farmers and the Young Farmer Accelerator Program at https://www.farmfoundation.org/programs-overview/young-farmer-accelerator-program.