A type of rural Methuselah effect has some worried that farmers are aging, while young people have little interest in food production–but a recent survey shows that the trends might be shifting.
According to the 2017 National Young Farmer Survey
, America’s new generation of young farmers expects to overcome major barriers to their success in agriculture–including access to land, affordable health care, and mounting student loan debt; but according to some, success will require deliberate policy change at all levels of government. The survey was conducted by the National Young Farmers Coalition in partnership with Dr. Kathleen Merrigan, Executive Director of Sustainability at George Washington University and former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture.
Reactions to this report vary, but some note that the farming landscape is changing in key ways. According to this article, the new generation can’t hope to replace the numbers that farming is losing to age. But it is already contributing to the growth of the local-food movement and could help preserve the place of midsize farms in the rural landscape.
Moving Toward Agriculture: Personal Choice, School Projects, and International Development
The African Development Bank—with the leadership of Akinwumi Adesina–launched the Youth Advisory Group to create 25 million jobs
and benefit 50 million youth over the next 10 years by equipping them with the right skills to get decent and meaningful jobs.
by dan gogerty (top pic from goodnet.org and bottom from afdb.org)