Oregon farmers are aging faster than the national average


The average age of Oregon’s farmers and ranchers is rising faster than the national average, which concerns the Oregon Department of Agriculture.

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The average age of Oregon’s farmers and ranchers is rising faster than the national average, which concerns the Oregon Department of Agriculture, said Director Katy Coba.

The average age of Oregon farmers from the most recent census data was 57.5, an all-time high, compared with the national average of 57.1.

A closer look at the census data shows that 109 of the Oregon’s 38,500 principal farm operators were younger than 25 and that 3,770 were older than 75. Meanwhile, the number of operators younger than 45 decreased 31 percent in 2007 compared with 2002.

A robust agriculture industry needs to attract and keep younger operators to replace older farmers, who eventually will leave the business, state officials said.

Read more at StatesmanJournal.com.

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