If you’ve read Texas Farm Girl’s blog on feeding 9 billion by 2050, you understand the importance of sustainable farming. But with almost half of American farmers being 55 or older and city dwellers being the majority of the world’s population, there could be a cause for concern with the supply of farmers able to sustain the world.
But never fear, because young farmers are here!
There may be a rise in people moving to “the big city,” but there’s also a rise in students studying agricultural subjects in college. This is great news for the future of agriculture and food production—here’s why:
Education in sustainability
With today’s technology and sustainability needs, it’s important to understand the best tools and practices to produce as much food with as little negative environmental impact as possible. If you didn’t grow up on the farm, that’s okay. There opportunities to learn more and college is a great place to learn that.
A USA Today article noted that more colleges are shifting their courses to emphasize sustainability—whether those courses are in agricultural programs or not. With the increasing awareness for a more environmentally friendly world, this could be a factor in why more students are looking to pursue agriculture—they want to do their part in feeding the world sustainably. That, and it’s a great opportunity to reconnect with the outdoors.
Urban farming to feed cities
More people are moving to cities, and that means we need to feed more people in those concentrated areas. That’s where the rise in urban farming comes in.
You may have heard of a community farm or garden. Take, for example, the Iron Roots Urban Farm in Youngstown, Ohio. This is a 1.5 acre urban farm and training center part of the Lots of Green initiative, which repurposes vacant land into gardens, parks, and planting sites. The goal is to get people involved in a real, working farm. Initiatives such as this not only provide local and sustainable food to urban communities, but they educate those communities to create a healthier environment.
The moral of the story? The future of agriculture will be in good hands with more people contributing in additional ways from the traditional farmer.