WASHINGTON D.C. - As the median age of American farmers creeps up to 58 years, the agricultural industry is confronting a demographic crisis.

Seventy-five percent of farmers say they plan to retire within the next fifteen years, and as a result, an estimated 33 percent of American farmland will transfer ownership in that time.

National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson says there currently aren’t enough young farmers and ranchers ready to take over – for every farmer under 35, there are six older than 65.

“We are facing a seismic shift in agriculture in the coming years. Many of today’s farmers won’t be in the field in 10 or 15 years. When they retire, we need to ensure that there are plenty of qualified and well-equipped beginning farmers ready to take their place.”

In response to these challenges, the NFU introduced “Growing for the Future”, a free online conference for beginning farmers and ranchers.

More than 3,000 farmers have participated in the program since its introduction in 2016.

For more information, visit NFU.ORG.

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