Need for younger farmers - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Need for younger farmers

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GRANT COUNTY, Wis. (KWWL) -

Farmers and those interested in farming came out to the screening of "The Greenhorns," held at the Sinsinawa Mound Center.

"It is about the young farmers movement and entrance into American agriculture," said director Severine von Tscharner Fleming. 

It's a documentary that follows the lives of young people as they consider a farming career.

Fleming says there's a need for the next generation of farmers.  "The landscape behind me is full of barns and farm houses  and based on the  statistics that we have about  seventy percent of those farms are gonna be changing hands in the next twenty years," she said. 

In fact, the average age of a farmer today in America is 57-years old.

Rachel Boeke and her husband are exploring the idea of becoming farmers...and the challenges.

"We want to basically sustain ourselves on a farm and we're not sure what's that gonna look like yet.  We don't have land, we're hoping to get land somewhere in Iowa," said Boeke.

But Fleming says those challenges will be rewarding. "The farm land that feeds us is crucial to our survival as a species and agriculture is the foundation of our civilization."

Some of the challenges young farmers might face are land transitions and getting access to capital to buy land, but there are several organizations in the area to help with these matters.

Some of them are the Practical Farmers of Iowa,  the Midwest Organic & Sustainable Education Service and the Sustainable Iowa Land Trust. 

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