There is something that agriculture needs just as much as drought-tolerant corn or auto steering in tractors: It needs young farmers and ranchers. The average age of farmers in the U.S. is 57 and that number is not going down
"We are losing rural population and when we lose population we are losing a huge number of kids from 0 to 18 years of age," said Weldon Sleight, Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture. "Cherry County, Neb., the biggest cow-calf county in the U.S., lost 416 students in 9 years--that is like losing a good-sized high school."
It is difficult to get started in farming or ranching even if a person is lucky enough to inherit the land and equipment. But, what would it cost to start an average-sized diversified farm from scratch?