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Farmers express uncertainty about the future, Most note that farmers are aging and young people seem uninterested  
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,” he said. 

   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. 

   Making money 

   “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 completely. 

   “I’d like to find more land,” he said. “They don’t make any more land.”
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