American Agriculture Dying of Old Age?

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According to research the U.S. farm population is dwindling and the average age of farmers continues to rise. In fact, about 40 percent of the farmers in this country are 55 years old or older. In the last 10 years the number of farmers over the age of 75 has increased by 30 percent and at the same time there has been a 20 percent decrease in the number of farmers under the age of 25. 

To address these concerns of an ageing American Farming Industry and the long-term health of this very important American Institution seven Wyoming agricultural organizations have joined forces to form the Wyoming Agriculture Ownership Network or WAGON program; a program to help young people get involved in agriculture by pairing existing ranches, or mentor ranches, with beginning young producers looking to start an operation.

   Scott Keith Coordinator of WAGON talks about the new program.

Applications for the first year of WAGON are due on December 31, 2011. For more information you can contact Scott Keith at 307.259.3274. or by email at scott.keith@wyo.gov.

Farm Credit Services of America, University of Wyoming College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, USDA Farm Service Agency, Wyoming Bankers Association, Wyoming Business Council, Wyoming Department of Agriculture, Wyoming Stock Growers Associations and Wyoming Stock Growers Agricultural Land Trust are the organizations that have taken the time to develop this new program to help future generations of Wyoming Ranchers and Farmers.

Nebraska also has a similar program called the 100 Cow Program and you can learn more about it by clicking HERE.

Story by John Walton

© Northern Ag Network

Sources include:

Wyoming Livestock Roundup

Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Secretary Tom Vilsack (Department of Agriculture)

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