Younger farmers in demand - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Younger farmers in demand

Burch's farm in Baker County Burch's farm in Baker County
The average age of a farmer in the U.S. is 60 years old. The average age of a farmer in the U.S. is 60 years old.
Farmer, Tim Burch Farmer, Tim Burch

It's reported that the average age of a U.S. farmer is 60 years old, that just couple of years older than what it was in 2007 which is why the farming community is encouraging younger folks to get into the business.

Baker County farmer, Tim Burch, says one reason for the gap is due to the very small amount of space left over for newcomers. He says agriculture is a competitive industry and can be difficult for a young person to break into if they don't have experience or financial means.
 
Burch feels there are a lot of factors that can contribute, especially for those living in metropolitan areas. He says those get hit the hardest because their available land will most likely get used for something other than agriculture.
 
According to Agweek, the number of farmers between the ages of 25 to 34 has gone up slightly compared to years past but it's still not enough to make a dent in the overall average. Burch feels the industry is changing and with that younger people will start to take notice.
 
"Technology we're using, you know, its of interest to the younger kids, its certainly harder for the older ones of us to adapt to it," Burch said.

Gadgets like drones are said to help alleviate lands from droughts. And other tools such as the Aqua Spy, an electronic monitor that alerts farmers when there is too much water, all put in place to allow farmers to work more efficiently.

The farming community is striving to find ways to make it easier for newcomers. It's predicted in the next 35 years when the population becomes larger, the demand for food production will grow over 50%, meaning the role of farmers will become even more vital.

 

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