"Organic Movement Sprouts New Crop of Farmers"

"In the Valley and across the country, there is a new force in agriculture: environmentally minded young farmers.

Some are urbanites cultivating small fields. Others grew up on farms and are returning home. And among college students or recent graduates who are passionate about food, interning on a farm is a rite of passage.

John Teixeira, a Firebaugh farmer who maintains an organic ranch for interns, says he has received more than 50 inquiries this year. 'We've had tremendous interest,' he says. 'They want to grow their own food. That's the craze.'

Questions about food production lead these youngsters to the fields. Some read 'The Omnivore's Dilemma,' author Michael Pollan's critique of industrial agriculture. They buy food from small farms, both to support local businesses and preserve farmland. They're concerned about chemicals in their diets."

Joan Obra reports for the Fresno Bee July 24, 2009.

Monday, July 27, 2009