Millennials are becoming farmers in higher percentages than other generations, and they are finding ways to turn farming into their careers.

An FKD Feature exclusive

Millennials are returning to more traditional careers and becoming farmers. Farming is quickly becoming one of the fastest-growing careers and fields of study for millennials. This is only the second time in the last century that the amount of farmers under age 35 is growing.

Since millennials are more food-conscious and prefer locally sourced organic produce, many have decided to open their own farms and specialty shops. Most of these farms are small and can be found in backyards or rooftops. Not every millennial is using their farm to create profit; some just enjoy having a personal connection to their food. Still, there are many millennials who have turned their mantra of healthy food into flourishing businesses.

Farming as a fast-growing career

Farming is painted as a traditional American career, and many citizens dream of owning their own land. However, the number of active farmers fell between 2007 and 2012 by 20 percent. But things are changing. The image of the traditional southern farmer tending to his family’s farm has shifted toward millennials all over the country pursuing this lifestyle. Millennials are getting degrees in agriculture and animal sciences in high numbers in the U.S. Equipped with their degrees, love of quality food and an entrepreneurial spirit, millennials are changing what it means and looks like to be a farmer.

What are millennials bringing to the farming industry?

Since millennials have grown up amid a technological boom, many are incorporating new technology into their farming systems. Agricultural robots are not just something in science fiction; farmers now use drones, automated tractors and other robotics. Drones are now being used to plant seeds, conduct soil analyses, pipe irrigation and carry out many other tasks. Not only does this save time and manpower, but it also increases the efficiency of the jobs done. Tractica, a marketing intelligence firm, estimates that the number of shipments of these agricultural robots will continue to increase, and the market is expected to reach $74.1 billion dollars in annual revenue by 2024. As more of the millennial generation takes over the farming industry, they will continue to grow the use of drones and robotics in order to create more efficiently run farms. The use of robots also prevents injuries to farm workers as well as promotes a high level of standard since robots do not get tired.

Takeaway

Farming is becoming one of the fastest growing careers for millennials as more get degrees in agriculture and take interest in food production. Millennials are becoming farmers for many reasons, whether it be wanting locally sourced food for themselves, having a farm as a source of income, or even to further sustainability efforts and technological advancements. Luckily millennials are preserving the art of farming, as they modernize techniques to keep this important workforce growing and adding to the U.S. economy.

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Posted 12.08.2017 - 10:00 am EST