Rangelands journal study estimates few farmers or ranchers under age 35 year 2033

Jan 22, 2015

Becoming harder to pass family farms down or find young workers willing to work on a farm

By Diego Flammini, Farms.com

Face it, farming isn’t for everyone.

It consists of early mornings, long days, hard work and for the most part going underappreciated and relatively unknown to the general public.

It’s dirty work and sometimes doesn’t smell so great. The income potential can be a source of interest but it isn’t automatic and it isn’t going to happen overnight.

So little by little the younger generations are going away from farming, creating a problem for the future.

A new study conducted by the journal Rangelands, the publication from the Society for Range Management, focused on trends related to demographics in Wisconsin using maps, graphs, stats, and up to 90 years of other data including census results discovered something shocking: by 2033, there will be very few farm operators under the age of 35, and by 2050 most operators will be around 60 years old.

The study centred on the High Plains, mostly in Wyoming.

Based on their findings, even if current farm owners pass their land down from their children to grandchildren, they won’t have the financial wherewithal to continue their operations.

The authors of the study suggest a new way of focusing youth attention away from coal and oil industry initiatives. They suggest if young people take the time to learn more about the agriculture and environment in their communities, it could steer them to taking an interest in farming and ranching.

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