Uncertain job market leads young professionals to farm work

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Layoffs, office politics and a desire to escape the confines of an office cubicle are only a few of the reasons people in their 20s and 30s are taking an interest in agriculture.

The Associated Press reports enrollment in university agriculture programs is on the rise, as well as interest in farmer-training programs, farmers markets and a growing curiosity in the trip food makes from farm to plate.

Demand and interest in locally grown and organic food is increasing, and younger workers are finding ways to promote the agricultural products they produce through social media.

High start-up costs including equipment and land can be intimidating, but agriculture fared better than most parts of the economy during the recession. The USDA expects farm profits to reach record levels this year.

In the dairy industry, some farms have initiated share-milk arrangements with people wanting to get a start in agriculture. For instance, a farmer who is nearing retirement can partner with a younger person and they split the milk check. Read more about that here.

Interest from a younger audience is encouraging to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and others in government. More than 60 percent of farmers are over the age of 55 and the question of feeding the growing population is a major concern.

Read more here.

Source: The Associated Press



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