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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnanehttps://www.thatsfarming.com/
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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‘Many people do not realise what would happen if we did not tend the land’

How can we get young people interested in farming and gardening?

In this article, Elizabeth Long looks at how we can encourage young people into farming and gardening.

Professions that connect us to the world around us are essential to human survival.

Farming and gardening have been the skills that have allowed humans to evolve and grow as a species.

But despite all of this, often, it is not a popular career choice amongst young people today.

The number of people working in agriculture is dwindling, in a lot of cases.

This poses a problem for the future, since we need people to continue in these roles if we want to have food to eat, despite technological innovations.

So how can we get young people interested and passionate about farming and gardening? Not only as a job, but as a passion. We share some ideas.

Share the problem

If no one knows that there is an issue, then it’s hard to get anyone committed to taking action.

Sharing information around the impact of farming and gardening can mean that it becomes public knowledge, and so there’s more talk about it.

Many people do not realise what would happen if we did not tend the land. Making the connection between the food we eat and how it is produced is essential for making people care about it, and hopefully increasing the number of people who get involved.

Focus on the benefits

Both farming and gardening tend to be outside jobs, and so some people can be put off by the idea of having to head out in all weather conditions. However, there are many benefits to spending time outdoors.

For one thing, these sectors are a great way to connect with nature. Those who work in agriculture spend their days outside, surrounded by the beauty of the natural world. In addition, it can be extremely rewarding.

There is a great sense of satisfaction that comes from growing and harvesting crops, and keeping animals healthy.

Finally, farming and gardening are an excellent way to stay physically active. These types of work often require manual labour, which can provide a good workout and help to keep people fit and healthy.

In a time where young people are struggling to disconnect from their screens, and mindfulness is becoming more popular, an outdoor career can potentially be an attractive option.

Create a community

Often, young people who are choosing a career will look to their peers, as well as online resources and social media.

Creating a strong community for them to join and feel welcome into could make a big difference – a place where they can get inspired, and ask questions, as well as seek out advice once they have started in their new role or hobby.

Farming, in particular, can often be quite an isolated job, so creating these connections can help young people feel part of a bigger community.

There is a lot to learn, and having experienced mentors around can help make the switch to agriculture slightly easier.

Motivate a generation

We need young people to get interested in practical, outdoor careers if we want this sector and the traditional methods to survive. Technology can do a lot, but ultimately there is no substitute for the human element.

Being involved in farming and gardening can offer a range of physical and mental benefits, too, as well as social benefits from being involved in a wider community.

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