By Margot Brooks
I own Sugar House Creamery, I’m one of the founders of the Adirondacks Farmers Coalition, and I’m a member of Young Farmers.
When my husband and I bought our land, it hadn’t been farmed in about 50 years. The fields were lying fallow and little trees were coming up in the pasture. The realtor who showed it to us was trying to sell it as a housing development site—“you could put five houses here,” she said. I love knowing that we saved it from that fate.
Saving the farm meant making big investments to repair and improve most of the infrastructure, like adding a modern milk tank to our barn, which hadn’t been used for milking since the 1920s. Our budget was tight, and we weren’t sure if we could afford new equipment. That’s when we remembered our Young Farmers membership discounts.
As Coalition members, we save 5–40% when we shop at more than 20 farm and garden suppliers. We can save on things like seeds, tools and even work boots.
Our 10% discount with Bob-White Systems ended up saving us more than $600 on our shiny, new milk storage tank!
Saving money was a big deal to us, but it isn’t why we joined the Coalition. We are members because we like being part of a nationally organized group of young farmers and tapping into that energy and knowledge. When you are a tiny little farm in an isolated area by yourself, it really helps to know there are other people out there like you, and you’re all in it together.
We saved one farm from development; Young Farmers is fighting every day to save thousands of farms by advocating for policies that support young farmers and preserve farmland for the next generation.
I’m proud to call myself a member, and I hope you’ll join, too.