Agri-Stats: Demographics

There’s a national shortage of young agricultural professionals.

A 2014 Report by the STEM Food and Ag Council calls for industries and universities to work together to address the gap.


  • Twenty-five percent of [agricultural] workers are the age of 55 or older, which means job opportunities will grow through workforce attrition.
  • Analysis projects a 4.9% growth in employment opportunities in the next five years, adding 33,100 new jobs in advanced agriculture fields.

The report, released at the World Food Prize Borlaug Dialogue, includes a detailed analysis of enrollment and workforce trends in six agriculture fields:

  • Agricultural Business and Management,
  • Agriculture Mechanization and Engineering,
  • Animal Sciences,
  • Plant and Soil Science,
  • Food Science and Technology, and
  • Other life sciences.

The STEM Food & Ag Council report found that career opportunities in the food and agriculture industries for the next generation will be significant

STEM Annual Report, Food Ag Council (2014)

Reposted from October 23, 2014, Facebook post

In 2012, The USDA Stats came to the same conclusions: 

  • Only 22% of all farmers in the U.S. are “beginning farmers” (farming for < 10 years)
  • Only 6% of farmers are under the age of 35
  • 33% of farmers are 65 or older

In 2012, the U.S. Census of Ag Reported an overall decrease in the number of farms: 

  • The U.S. had 2.1 million farms.
  • A decrease in 4.3 % from the 2007 Census.
  • There is an overall downward trend in mid-sized farms, while the smallest and largest-size farms held steady.
  • Between 2007 and 2012, the amount of land in U.S. farms declined from 922 million acres to 915 million. (<1%).