Farmer Spotlight: Young Farmer Andrew Kilduff Brings Light to Unseen Farm Workers

Katie Opalinska

Hello, my name is Andrew Kilduff. I'm 26 years old and I've been farming for three years. 

I grow mixed vegetables and perennials, and raise pork and poultry.

Sustainable farming practices are important to me because they improve soil ecology, promote safe business practices, and foster synergy in ecological communities at the farm.

My favorite thing about being a farmer is being healthy at work every day, seeing the sun as my work lamp, and the sky as the ceiling; the best office space I can imagine.

My farmer idols or superheroes are the unnamed workers who farm across the United States, because their individual contributions provide an enormous bounty of food and foodstuffs, and seldom are they truly appreciated for how hard and long they toil, and for how little their efforts are rewarded. 

My favorite song to listen to on the farm is "Stars of the Lid," Austin, Texas ensemble. Perfect ambient soundscape for the late afternoon/sunset.

When I'm not farming, I like to long-distance cycle and practice my language skills in Spanish, French, and German.

My favorite thing to grow is feels like a cliche, but none other than sunflowers. 

My favorite thing to eat is heirloom tomatoes, on rye bread, with dill mayonnaise and salt.

If I could change one thing about the food system it would be to subsidize ALL farmers' salaries.

Something you don't know about me is I underwent an organ transplant as an infant.

If I could tell the world one thing about what being a farmer is like, it would be that despite the incredible resolve and dedication required, it remains much more a lifestyle than a profession, and possibly the most spiritually, emotionally, and physically engrossing pursuit one can make.

I am reducing post-harvest losses by fostering a business relationship with a restaurant that produced added value products with less-desirable and post-harvest surplus.

Climate change is affecting my farm through unseasonal extremes, i.e. excessive rainfalls during summer and late fall.

One thing I'm doing to protect the environment on my farm is omit the use of any amendments besides mushroom compost.

I think we need more young people involved in farming because its takes a young person's energy to farm, and as a lifestyle, the earlier you master the skills necessary, the better.

One thing I'm doing to create healthy soil on my farm is spading.

One thing I'm doing to prevent erosion from my farm is growing in intensively managed raised beds then extensively in open fields.

The most difficult thing about sustainable farming is it requires many humans many hours to accomplish, considerable foresight, and a lot of patience.

I chose the agricultural life because it just feels right.

None of my family members are involved in farming, but many are avid gardeners.

The following resources, programs, or organizations are most valuable to my farm: GIS, NRCS, and the many volunteers who have dedicated their time in the fields.