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City of Phoenix looking for next generation of farmers

Posted at 8:44 AM, Jan 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-06 10:44:20-05

PHOENIX — The city of Phoenix is working to find the next generation of farmers.

Friday is the deadline to apply for the Phoenix Urban Agriculture Fellowship. Nine people, ages 18 to 24, will be chosen to work on nine local farms.

They will be paid to work part-time at $15 an hour for a year and get hands-on experience learning to grow their own food.

Joe Rossell is the Food Systems Program Manager for the city of Phoenix. He says at the start of the pandemic, the city surveyed local farmers asking them what challenges they faced. He says because of COVID-19, they were losing employees. He says there is also a concern that farming is an aging workforce, with the average age of a farmer in Maricopa County being 60 years old.

“I do think there is real interest in understanding where our food comes from and then learning how to actually grow that food,” Rossell said. “So for me, I see this as actually being able to grow in terms of a career path.”

There is growing interest to get more Arizonans interested in farming. Last year, a similar program was passed through the state legislature.

For information on how to apply, click here.