In Braddock, Pennsylvania, 10 miles east of Pittsburgh, a new mayor has come to revive a town of 20,000 that has been decimated by the closing of the steel mills.  The new mayor, John Fetterman looks at this ruined town as an incredible opportunity for a new beginning.  Since he stepped into office, Fetterman has encouraged many new social and environmental programs and organizations that will help stimulate the economy, boost morale and encourage a vibrant community.
Braddock Urban Farm grows organic produce, Fossil Free Fuel reconfigures diesel engines to run of recycled vegetable oil and artists are starting to show up lured by ridiculously low rents and cheap studio space.  The mayor commissioned a wood-fire bread oven in hopes of luring an artisnal baker.
Overall, Braddock’s devastated landscape has encouraged its residents, new and old, to try things they might never have done in places already green.  Fetterman put it this way:  “We’re recycling the whole town, so we appeal to those who want to walk the walk, as opposed to feeling good about giving up bottled water and composting watermelon rinds.”
Check out GOOD Magazine for the whole article.

In another ailing town, Hardwick, Vermont, the 3,000 remaining townspeople are hoping food will save them.  Young artisans and agricultural entrepreneurs are reaching out to investors and the town manager Rob Lewis cites 75 to 100 new jobs in the past few years. Tofu, cheeses, greens from local farmers, organic seeds all are thriving in a community that shares its experiences in business planning, marketing and promotion.  These growers have lent each other money and the Center for Agricultural Economy recently bought 15 acres to start an agricultural education center which will include a year round farmers market and a community garden.  Like-minded people are eager to come to Hardwick now and get involved in making local ingredients available to a larger group of people.  Things no longer seem hopeless or impossible.
Check out this New York Times article for the whole story.

The economy is struggling.  There are fewer jobs these days making it even more competitive for recent graduates.  No one can deny these facts.

Consider leaving college, moving to an off the beaten track location and doing something real.  Working for the people who don’t have sustainable systems set up.  For those who don’t know that their food should taste good.  Change the minds of local citizens who think fast food is the only solution to their small town isolation from major food markets.  Go somewhere different.  Go somewhere that really needs help.  Go somewhere where you can really test what you learned at school, and get hands on experience that will not only broaden your skill – set but enrich your knowledge of food issues in America and prepare you for a different economy.