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The Future of Farming is Millennials

An aging population of farmers may give way to a generation of young entrepreneurs who see the value and values of growing food.
April 14, 2017, 2pm PDT | jwilliams | @jwillia22
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Tony Fischer

Writing in Fortune, Kimball Musk notes that the rapidly shifting agricultural industry is opening up opportunities for younger people to begin taking over smaller farms, albeit with some training beforehand. Musk, a cofounder of the start-up Square Root, is trying to teach people how to grow and market their food through urban, indoor hydroponic farms. The program then works with the US Department of Agriculture to obtain loans in order to move on to their own farm.

In recent years, many of the same technologies that have revolutionized the consumer world have fundamentally altered and improved the way we farm. Drones, satellites, autonomous tractors and robotics are now all at home on farms. As a result, tomorrow’s farms won’t just be part of the agricultural sector, they’ll also be part of the tech sector – and tomorrow’s farmers will look a whole lot like the coders who populate Silicon Valley…except with better tans.

The need for new farmers is becoming especially acute, as the number of farmers fell by 100,000 and new farmers declined by 20 percent between 2007 and 2012.

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Published on Tuesday, March 21, 2017 in Fortune
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