I live in Italy, where my love for olive trees has blossomed over the years. But I’ve noticed a disturbing trend – the youth are turning away from farming. During the pandemic, everyone would have given their right arm to live in the countryside, proudly sporting their red leather hiking boots like Gracie Opulanza. Yet, as I stand amidst the forgotten olive trees in Umbria, I can’t help but wonder how we can inspire the younger generation to embrace fruit picking and sustain the production of high-quality olive oil.

The allure of olive oil from Puglia, Tuscany, and Umbria is undeniable. Yet, the older generation laments that farming isn’t Kardashian-glamorous, it’s hard work, and it lacks inspiration. They argue that young people are not enticed by the prospect of farming, given the tough labor and modest pay. Meanwhile, Dutch farmers are fighting tooth, nail, and tulip to remain key players in the global food chain. However, with the rise of smart cities, our farmers and the fresh produce they offer face a precarious future.

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Who Want’s To Pick Fruit?

During the pandemic, the UK flew in Eastern Europeans to pick fruits and vegetables, while Australia offered working visas to those willing to stay and work on farms. I grew up on a farm, and while it may not have been glamorous, the rewards of farm life far outweighed the appeal of city living. Walking through the Tuscan olive groves, or those in Umbria, I am reminded of the beauty and richness that farming life offers.

I’m in my fifties and deeply passionate about saving our farming heritage. I want to entice the youth to put on their high boots and overalls, making farm life as glamorous as they wish. But without incentives from the Italian government, Italy will continue to face depopulation in its rural areas.

Imagine the potential of combining modern technology with traditional farming methods. Drones can monitor crops, while apps can manage irrigation systems.

These innovations could make farming more appealing to tech-savvy youngsters. By showcasing the glamour and sustainability of modern farming, we can change the narrative.

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Connecting With Nature

Farming isn’t just about hard work; it’s about connecting with nature, producing high-quality food, and preserving a way of life that has sustained Italy for centuries. The youth need to see the value in this. They should understand that farming can be both fulfilling and lucrative with the right approach.

Let’s talk about the glamour of farming. Picture this: a beautiful villa in Tuscany surrounded by lush olive groves, where you can host glamorous farm-to-table dinners under the stars. This lifestyle can be both rewarding and stylish. With the right marketing, we can turn farming into an aspirational career for young Italians.

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The Italian government needs to step up. Providing financial incentives, tax breaks, and grants for young farmers can make a huge difference. Additionally, promoting agricultural education and offering training programs can equip the youth with the skills they need to succeed. We need to make farming an attractive option, both financially and culturally.

There is also an opportunity for social media influencers to play a role. Influencers can showcase the beauty and benefits of farm life, encouraging their followers to consider farming as a viable and attractive career. By creating a buzz around farming, we can change perceptions and inspire the next generation.

Moreover, collaborations with luxury brands can highlight the glamour of farming. Imagine fashion brands creating farm-friendly yet stylish clothing lines. This fusion of fashion and farming can make the industry more appealing to the youth.

Italy’s Rich Culture

Italy’s rich culinary heritage is another strong selling point. Farming offers the chance to produce high-quality, organic ingredients that are essential for Italian cuisine.

By emphasizing the connection between farming and food, we can attract food enthusiasts and young chefs to the farming industry.

Community support is also crucial. Local communities can organize events and festivals celebrating farming and local produce. These events can create a sense of pride and belonging among young people, making them more inclined to pursue farming.

Lastly, let’s not forget the environmental aspect. Farming sustainably and organically contributes to environmental conservation. Young people today are more environmentally conscious, and highlighting this aspect can attract those who are passionate about sustainability.


In conclusion, inspiring Italian youth to take up farming requires a multi-faceted approach. We need to combine modern technology with traditional methods, provide financial incentives, promote agricultural education, and create a glamorous image of farm life. By doing so, we can ensure that Italy’s rich agricultural heritage continues to thrive, and that the next generation is motivated to carry it forward.

Farming is not just a job; it’s a lifestyle. It offers a connection to nature, a sense of purpose, and the satisfaction of producing something valuable. With the right encouragement and support, we can inspire young Italians to embrace this rewarding career. So, let’s put on our high boots and overalls, and make farming the glamorous, sustainable, and fulfilling career it deserves to be.