Our Klamath Basin
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express uncertainty about the future,
Most note that farmers are aging and young people seem
by Jill Aho, Herald and News Oct 6, 2008
The voices of local farmers are uncertain when
they talk about the future of their farms.
Most note that Klamath Basin farmers are aging,
and young people seem less
interested in taking over.
Roger Taylor, of Bigfoot Farms in Malin, said
it’s hard to picture his farm in 10 years.
“That’s going to depend a lot on my children,”
His oldest son will be around 21 then, and as
Taylor watches him grow, he’s impressed with his son’s
intelligence and aptitude with math.
“Is farming going to be one (job) he wants to
pursue?” Taylor asked.
According to the Farm Bureau, the average age of
a U.S. farmer in 2002 was 55.
For Dan Chin, of Wong Potatoes, luring young
people to the field means proving that agriculture
can be profitable.
“You have to be able to make money on the farm
for the kids to take a look and say, ‘Yeah, I want to do
this.’ It’s not just the pride of growing your crops
anymore,” he said.
Some young people are attracted to farming, such
as Cody Heath, a high school senior who worked alongside
Ross Fleming digging potatoes last week.
“It’s a drug,” Heath said. “It’s addicting.”
Heath did not grow up in a farming family, but
said once he started working on a farm, he couldn’t get
enough. After graduation, he plans to attend Klamath
Community College’s agriculture program.
Jason Flowers, of Flowers Farms, said he hopes
to grow the family farm and eventually take over
“I’d like to find more land,” he said. “They
don’t make any more land.”
Thursday May 07, 2009 09:14 AM Pacific
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