A frequent shopper at area farmers’ markets, third-generation Phoenix native Janna Anderson saw there was a large demand for urban farmers on a small scale even before the locally-grown movement became trendy. Because of this recognition, Pinnacle Farms was launched on a tiny plot behind the Scottsdale Community College in 2000. This all began to unfold at a time when Anderson was just a semester shy of obtaining her nursing degree. Instead, she dropped out of college, decided to follow her heart, and applied herself to filling this niche food market.
Securing adequate land to grow crops and raise livestock was the top challenge identified again this year in the American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual outlook survey of participants in the Young Farmers & Ranchers program. That challenge was identified by 22 percent of respondents, followed by economic challenges, particularly profitability, which was identified by 15 percent of the respondents.