Site link: USDA New Farmers
A declining agricultural workforce is evidence of lack of profitability in the sector, resulting in social inequity and a lack of family wage jobs among farmers. The resilience of rural communities can be greatly impacted by investments and policy change that support new farmers.
The majority of farmers in the United States are near or past age of retirement, and there are no new farmers to fill their shoes. The number of beginning farmers decreased by 20% from 2007 to 2012 (USDA Census of Agriculture). Local programs in the PNW have provided training, technical assistance, and incubator programs to beginning farmers for years. The USDA has launched an site for new farmers – with particular focus on youth and women – that walks through expectations, stories from other new farmers, planning, resources, and making connections.
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