published Sunday, September 16th, 2012

Lack of capital among big obstacles facing next generation of farmers

Munford High School students Jeremy Stewart (left), 17, and Blake Bradley, 16, check out the underbelly of a massive Case 3230 sprayer while attending a field day at Agricenter International with Future Farmers of America students from the Memphis area.
Munford High School students Jeremy Stewart (left), 17, and Blake Bradley, 16, check out the underbelly of a massive Case 3230 sprayer while attending a field day at Agricenter International with Future Farmers of America students from the Memphis area.
Photo by The Commercial Appeal /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

A startling fact emerged the last time the government counted America's farmers, a fact that spurred worry about the country's food future.

The group of farmers who were 65 and older swelled to about 823,000, up 22 percent from 2002, according to the USDA's 2007 agriculture census.

When they retired, who would grow the food or fiber they produced to fill the shelves at the grocery store or racks at the mall? Did the country have enough young farmers to take their place?

Read more.

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