One Man’s Mission to Get Every Kid in America Excited About Farming
The future of food is in our kids' hands.
Brady Lowe is no stranger to farming ventures. A food educator dedicated to ethical and sustainable farm practices, in 2009 he launched Cochon555, a nationwide series of conferences and cooking competitions for heritage pig farmers. Then in 2015 he founded the Piggy Bank Farm in Missouri, which donates 600 heritage pigs to first-time farmers each year.
But Lowe’s latest endeavor aims to address the decline of the family farm at its root. Though it’s still in the start-up stage, he explained to Modern Farmer that his latest project, GrowA’Farmer, will allow families to purchase a large pallet for their kids containing everything they need to build a customizable 4×4 garden plot—topsoil, seeds, and shovels—for just $300.
Lowe said he was inspired by the decline in American family farming—a decline he believes is due to a lack of programs that focus on getting young kids excited about farming.
Pointing to the fact that 90% of farmers are aged 62 and older, Lowe told Modern Farmer that he worries that the growing demand for farm-to-table food will soon exceed the number of farmers growing it.
Lowe is convinced that today’s seven- to 11-year-olds are the future of farming, which is why he’s determined to provide them with the right tools to pique their interest. But he admits that getting there won’t be easy, which is why he hopes to acquire corporate sponsorships. With their help, GrowA’Farmer will be able to fund the delivery of hundreds of thousands of boxes to kids in underprivileged communities, food deserts, agricultural centers, and school districts.
“Athletes, celebrities and corporations might pledge $25,000 to places where they grew up—maybe their old elementary schools—to create an after-school program where they can grow food or teach gardening,” Lowe explained to Modern Farmer. “Or a school could have a donor and [the pallets] could be distributed to every student.”
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If GrowA’Farmer can introduce even a handful kids to the pleasures of growing their own food, Lowe says he will consider it a success.