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Leaving the office for dirt under the fingernails

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Rachel Clement picks purple mustard before the first hard freeze of the season at Owl’s Nest Farm in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, on Nov. 9. Many women, highly educated and city-bred, are taking to the farm life. Clement has worked at the farm since August. MUST CREDIT: Washington Post photo by Michael Robinson Chavez

Young people pursue farming

By Caitlin Dewey | The Washington Post

Liz Whitehurst dabbled in several careers before she ended up crating fistfuls of fresh-cut arugula in the early-November chill.

The hours were better at her nonprofit jobs. So were the benefits. But two years ago, the 32-year-old Whitehurst – who graduated from a liberal arts college and grew up in the Chicago suburbs – abandoned Washington, D.C., for this three-acre farm in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.

She joined a growing movement of highly educated, ex-urban, first-time farmers who are capitalizing on booming consumer demand for local and sustainable foods and, experts say, could have a broad impact on the food system.

For only the second time in the last century, the number of farmers under 35 years old is increasing, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s latest Census of Agriculture.


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  • Published: 4 months ago on November 24, 2017
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  • Last Modified: November 24, 2017 @ 1:23 pm
  • Filed Under: Economy, Featured News

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