For only the second time in the last century, the number of farmers under 35 years old is increasing. Sixty-nine percent of surveyed young farmers had degrees — significantly higher than the general population.
While this increase doesn't offset those retiring, it is interesting to consider that more and more millennials are leaving desk jobs in favor of the great outdoors.
As a demographic that is reported as being more environmentally conscious, it's unsurprising that these smaller farmers are more likely to be organic and more ethical than their commercial counterparts, and is evidence that this population value making a difference.
What is exciting is how this generation is disrupting the market: "Young farmers are. . . creating their own "food hubs," allowing them to store, process and market food collectively, and supply grocery and restaurant chains at a price competitive with national suppliers.
It looks like graduates are becoming outstanding in a new field altogether.
"I wanted to have a positive impact, and that just felt very distant in my other jobs out of college," Whitehurst said. "In farming, on the other hand, you make a difference. Your impact is immediate."