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“Elbow Deep in Soil for $10 an Hour”: NYT features Recent Wesleyan Graduates, Farming

“Farming appeals to me, and probably to other people, because it’s simple and straightforward work outdoors with literal fruits from your labor,” Abe Bobman ’11 said. “It doesn’t feel like you’re a part of an oppressive institution.”

Yesterday, the New York Times published a piece about the growing trend among young college graduates to pursue the age-old profession of farming. Two Wesleyan alumni, Abe Bobman  ’11 and Jordan Schmidt ’08, are featured, along with a number of other Northeastern liberal arts college graduates.

The article sets the tone at the beginning with an image of well-educated young people who, moved by their ideals and values, have chosen to work the land from dawn to dusk, “elbow deep in soil for $10 an hour.” It focuses on young farmers on two small organic New York farms and makes a point of emphasizing that none of these young graduate farmers come from farming backgrounds. Through snippets of these farmers’ mishaps and misadventures and statements of how their parents feel about their profession, the article looks into the issues of coming to agriculture from a well-educated, non-farming background.