As population grows, few young farmers are taking over - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

As population grows, few young farmers are taking over

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TYLER (KYTX) - We all benefit from the work farmers do, either through the food we eat to the clothes we wear. However, this necessary job, isn't seeing a large enough number of young people flocking to the field.


CBS 19's Katiera Winfrey explains why some say if more young people don't take up farming, we run the risk of not having enough farmers to produce the food to feed our ever growing population.

Research shows over the years, the number of people getting into the farming business is not keeping up with the growing population.

Based on trends, by 2050, the world population could increase from the current 7 billion to 9 billion. Farmers would have to double current food production to keep up with the growth...

From the fields, to the barn, there are several reasons to thank a farmer.

"Agriculture is something we're all involved in, if we eat, we wear clothes," said Chad Gully with the Texas A and M Extension Services.

Fifty years ago, the average farmer fed 25 people, today the average farmer feeds 155 people.

Gully said as the years go by, farming technology improves and crop size increases. However there's less land and fewer fresh faces to toil the soil.

"We have to educate young people and adults. I think some people take  for granted on where their food comes from," Gulley said.

research shows most of our food comes from family farms. However the make up of the family farm has changed...

49 "Fifty or sixty years ago a lot of arms had  a lot of kids on the farm so then when they got to a certain age, they were hands on a farm."

Now career paths have changed, possibly because farming is too hard, too expensive, or  isn't appealing.

"It' s a really fun experience, especially when you do it with family and friends," said Mariah Killingsworth who comes from a family of farmers.

"We're actually planning on having a garden in our back yard," she said.

She appreciates farmers, but like so many others, has no intention of picking up farming full time.

Gulley said, while the work may be hard, it's a job that needs to be done if we expect to have the food the feed the growing population.

"Somebody has to produce that and hopefully these young people will  get into that."



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