Farmer Jess and Organic Education

Organic Garden State: Farm incubator drives ‘good food revolution’

By Cara Townsend

Chickadee Creek Farms owner Jess Niederer is half the age of the average U.S. farmer. Though she grew up working on her family’s 80-acre farm in Pennington, Niederer approaches a small plot she leases on the farm with newfound vigor.

And she does it without chemicals, instead cultivating her produce using organic methods.

“After learning more about our food system, I decided I want to change the parts I don’t like,” the 28-year-old said.

There is a growing market for high quality, organic food and products, but finding farmers like Niederer to meet the demand is complicated, says Camille Miller, executive director of the New Jersey Northeast Organic Farming Association chapter.

While the number of small farms across the United States is dwindling, the age of the average farmer, 55 years as of 2002, is rising.

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