Farm to Fork Alcona wants to attract more young farmers to Alcona! As recipients of Giving Tuesday, a fundraiser on Dec. 3rd organized by the Community Foundation of Northeast Michigan, they are raising funds to pay for a targeted marketing campaign to bring 5 millennial farming families to Alcona in 2020.
Alcona County (and many parts of NE Mich) continues to be a food desert, as defined by the USDA. It struggled to revitalize after the Great Recession, in addition to that the problems our farmers face with global trade wars, tariffs, cheap imports and cutbacks in exports, and of course, our volatile weather conditions.
While most of Michigan sees an increase in population, the number of people in Alcona has decreased by 4.73% since 2010. With the oldest median population in Michigan, the average age of a farmer in Alcona County is 60 years old.
As the population decreases, so does the number of young people. And Alcona farmers are aging out.
Around the world, the global population is expected to reach 9.8 billion in 2050, just 30 crop cycles away. Food production must increase by 70% in order to feed everyone.
Bringing young families back into rural areas is the solution for this food crisis and Alcona county can be the epicenter of this. Fortunately, many millenials have a renewed focus in the locally-grown, know-where-your-food-came-from movement. Many find owning their own farm more appealing than life in the big city.
Farm to Fork Alcona will use the donations from Giving Tuesday to attract young people to the area through a targeted marketing campaign. These new farming families will help the economy by focusing on agri-businesses. Alcona showcases rural living at its best and is well situated to take advantage of many potential opportunities in agri-business:
• The land is fertile and affordable with an abundance of clean, fresh water
• The market is wide open: there are unlimited options for developing agri-businesses and food businesses
• The Grayling Northern Market hub is poised to become a reality
• Alcona can boast about its award-winning, nationally-recognized FFA program
• Our area school system is working on an outdoor agricultural center that will focus on experiential agri-education.
To support the mission of Farm to Fork Alcona, mark your calendars for Giving Tuesday on December 3rd! Raise up Northeast Michigan by donating to this fundraiser organized by the Community Foundation for NE Michigan! Donate here
Learn more Inspiration Alcona here.