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New Crop of Farmers :: Juan “JP” Perez

Thumbnail image of a young farmer Thumbnail image of a young farmer
Thumbnail image of a young farmer Thumbnail image of a young farmer
Thumbnail image of a young farmer Thumbnail image of a young farmer
Thumbnail image of a young farmer Thumbnail image of a young farmer
Thumbnail image of a young farmer Thumbnail image of a young farmer
Thumbnail image of a young farmer Thumbnail image of a young farmer
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Photo of a young farmer.
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J&P Organics, Salinas, CA

In 2006, JP and his father graduated from the Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association’s Spanish-language Farmer Education Program. They grow “a little bit of everything” on five certified organic acres.

“It all started when I was a young boy. My father leased five acres and used to bring me to the farm—after school, over summer break, and on weekends. When I was in middle school my dad came up to me and said, ‘Hey JP, you have a choice: come to the farm everyday with me or go to school.’ I knew how hard it is to work in the fields, so I decided to continue school.

“I don’t know if it was destiny or runs in my blood, but it’s funny because my education brought me back to farming. I went to college to get a better job. I didn’t want to work in the fields. But now, I like it. I like being out there. I’m a hands-on guy. I don’t like being in a cubicle or four walls. Some people learn in the classroom and some people learn in the fields. I’m a guy who learns in the fields.

“I have my degree in my pocket, but I wanted to do to something that my family was involved in. My dad and mom, they’ve been farmers for a long time. Now instead of them working for somebody else, they work for themselves. That was one of the reasons I decided to go into farming: I wanted to do something everyone was proud of.”

Visit the farm at www.jporganics.com.


Anna Stern and Kim NochiAnna Stern and Kim Nochi interviewed the young farmers in this series for Food for Everyone, the spring 2009 issue of YES! Magazine. Anna and Kim are editorial interns at YES!

 

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