Did you know that Leon County’s farmers are an aging group, averaging 59.8 years in 2007 and 62.2 years in 2012 (Ag Censes)? In Leon County, there were also 12%, 10%, and 13% decreases in number of farms, acres of farmland, and value of products sold, respectively, from 2007 to 2012.
Additionally, agriculture professionals are actually in high demand. There is an estimated 60,000 highly skilled jobs in agriculture available annually, but only about half of these positions are being filled by graduates with agriculture related degrees. These statistics draw on the importance of recruiting a younger farmer workforce and assisting new farmers with the many challenges they will face.
This is why the UF/IFAS Extension Panhandle Agriculture Team is hosting a So You Want to be a Farmer? Workshop Series on topics designed for beginning or novice farmers.
There’s a lot to know if you want to get into this business! This series aims to introduce new farmers to innovative and environmentally safe production practices, concepts of soil and water management, pests and diseases, growing for a farmers’ market, and financial management.