Getting into Farming

If you sat down and had a conversation with every farmer in the world asking what inspired them to get into farming, no two answers would be the same. Just as no two paths into farming are the same. Sure, there would be some common themes in the answers but each story would be as different and inspirational as the last.

After further reflection on many of the young farmers we have interviewed throughout the Young Farmer Screening Series, passion seems to be what drives almost all of the farmers we have spoken with. There are various inspirations thrown in there (family, kinship with the land, desire to better the surrounding world) but passion is definitely the main motivation. Waking up early every morning to get your hands dirty and work hard is a pursuit driven by love. Farming isn't typically something you go into for the money which speaks even more to the fact that people do it because they love it. Whether it's something that has been driving you since childhood or you shot straight up in bed at 55 years old and knew farming was your calling, there is almost something ethereal about the draw to the land.

John Leimburger is no different with respect to what drew him to farming. He began reading books on farming, specifically the Omnivore's Dillmea, and was inspired to try his hand at it. He was already growing some lettuce and tomatoes on his 36 square foot plot of land in Pittsburgh so his curiosity was piqued. Raising cattle in Pittsburgh, however, is no easy task so John set out to get a herd of Red Poll Cattle that could be raised by a farmer friend of his from the Farmer's Market. Just like that a farming match was made.

Not your typical introduction into farming but John is doing it and couldn't be happier. He is fully immersed in where his food comes from and is able to help out a local farmer in the process. The importance isn't why you farm, it's just that you farm. Whether you grow tomatoes in your urban garden, have an entire back yard full of animals or purchase from your local farmers market every week, getting out there and doing it is what truly matters.


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