Thursday, October 29, 2009

Outstanding Youth/Uncommon Wisdom: Youth Renewing the Countryside

Down a winding country road in Garnett, Kansas stands the Bauman farm, where agriculture is a family affair. Upon purchasing the farm in 2001, the family's first farm venture was to raise pastured chickens and livestock. Today, the Baumans sell about 7,000 broiler chickens each year and an average 350 dozen eggs a week.

With the help of a grant from the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, the Baumans experimented with pasturing different species of animals in the same area. With the "pasture stacking" project, the family increased their broiler chickens' average weight by 50 percent.

Rosanna, the eldest of the Bauman girls, explains that the weight increase was due in part to the addition of a new water system. "The project had a positive social impact on us kids," explains Rosanna. "It has led each of us to take steps towards farming sustainably."

Rosanna is just one of dozens of young people returning to the roots of American agriculture who are featured in a new book-Youth Renewing the Countryside. 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, Youth Renewing the Countryside shares remarkable stories of young people in each state changing the world through rural renewal.

Download Youth Renewing the Countryside at http://sare.org/publications/youth.htm for free. To order print copies ($24.95 plus $5.95 s/h) visit www.sare.org/WebStore, call 301/374-9696 or send check or money order to SARE Outreach, PO Box 753, Waldorf, Maryland 20604-0753. (Please specify title requested when ordering by mail.) Discounts are available on orders of 10 or more. Allow 3-4 weeks for delivery. Call 301/374-9696 for more information on bulk, rush or international shipments.

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Distributed by SARE Outreach for the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program and supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) USDA. SARE's mission is to advance - to the whole of American agriculture - innovations that improve profitability, stewardship and quality of life by investing in groundbreaking research and education. SARE Outreach operates under cooperative agreements with the University of Maryland and the University of Vermont to develop and disseminate information about sustainable agriculture. Visit www.sare.org for more information.

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