Regional farm cooperative receives grant from Patagonia, seeks new vision for land stewardship in Southeast Tennessee

The Southeast Tennessee Young Farmers Coalition (SETNYF) is a small cooperative endeavor between a handful of farmers on the Cumberland Plateau and in Chattanooga. Recently, they have been collaborating in the creation of an apprenticeship program for farmers from underrepresented communities.

Patagonia recently awarded the coalition its first major grant, which allowed the group to hire a project coordinator to move their ideas to reality. The funding will focus on three projects: building cohesive support and educational resources for young farmers; creating a state policy action network to address the needs of young farmers; and working with scientists, students and other farmer networks to better implement regenerative practices that build soil health and sequester carbon.

Not only are these farmers actively building healthy landscapes, they are banding together to seek a new farming methodology that is inclusive, holistic and economically feasible.