In a recent survey published by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), officials reported that more than one-third of U.S. farmers are 65 years old or older, and half of current farmers plan to retire in the next decade. With fewer young people staying home to take over their family farms, the average age of American farmers is increasing rapidly. Kevin Moore, an associate professor of agricultural economics at the University of Missouri, teaches Returning to the Farm, a class that prepares students to overcome the financial and personality hurdles of becoming a farmer.
"Many young kids see the farming lifestyle as boring, rural and unattractive, and an increasing number of college graduates are attracted to what they see as more stimulating and lucrative careers and urban life," Moore said. "The purpose of the Returning to the Farm class is to teach students the skills that they will need to overcome the financial and societal pressures they face when going back to the family farm or starting their own farms."
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Reprinted in part from CattleNetwork.com