U.S. farmers are getting grayer, their national numbers are on the decline and fewer young people are moving back to farms and ranches. The average age of a principal operator of a U.S. farm is now over 58 years old.
Absent opportunities for manufacturing, recreation or other industries, many of their surrounding small towns are dying off, too. It’s a vicious depopulation cycle in some areas: Young people move out for job opportunities and don’t ever move back, schools consolidate, basic services start to crumble, and the tax base erodes. Read the rest of the story here.