Farm Credit 100 Fresh Perspectives
Farm Credit 100 Fresh Perspectives

Levi Cahan
Teacher and Owner-Operator, Rising Sun Farm

Whitehall, New York
Farm Credit Affiliation
Farm Credit East
Levi's Perspective

Levi Cahan is an educator and a farmer, teaching agriculture classes to high school students and raising grass-fed Angus cattle, chickens and hogs on his Rising Sun Farm in New York.

Levi believes strongly in environmental responsibility, and uses sustainable practices with his livestock and, more recently, is installing 30 acres of commercial solar panels. He markets the meat he produces to local restaurants and weekly in New York City’s Green Markets, where he educates urban consumers about sustainable practices and animal husbandry.

"I did not grow up on a farm, but through agricultural education I became inspired and interested in the agricultural industry,” Levi says. “I take pride in the animals that I raise and the hard work that it takes to be a farmer and entrepreneur. I am inspired by my customers in New York City who want to be educated about their food and support a local, sustainable market.”

As a full-time high school agriculture teacher, Levi teaches a variety of classes, including animal, equine and plant sciences and agricultural mechanics. Reaching beyond his classroom, he’s worked to implement distance learning, broadcasting his classes to other classrooms across the state that otherwise would have no access to agricultural education.

Levi also serves as the FFA advisor of his chapter where he coaches teams, mentors youth, managing competitions, and teaches leadership skills to high school students. As chairman for the New York State FFA Foundation board, he provides leadership and manages the organization’s more than $1 million budget.

“I hope that my work as a teacher and a farmer will help to strengthen the agricultural industry by encouraging others to understand and support agriculture,” Levi says. “I think the future holds new ideas to grow more food, better food, in a more sustainable way, for a growing population, on the same amount of land. I also believe that many of my students will be leaders in the industry and many of my customers will influence the industry with their purchasing decisions.”

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