kathleen merrigan says we need more farmers
Official: US needs more young farmers, ranchers
By SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN, Associated Press
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Kathleen Merrigan sees an epidemic of sorts sweeping across America's farmland. It has little to do with the usual challenges, like drought, rising fuel and feed prices or crop-eating pests.
The country's farmers and ranchers are getting older and there are fewer people standing in line to take their place.
New Mexico has the highest average age of farmers and ranchers of any state at nearly 60 years old, and neighboring Arizona and Texas aren't far behind. Nationally, the latest agricultural census figures show the fastest growing group of farmers and ranchers are those over age 65.