According to a 2017 report from the United State Department of Agriculture, nearly two-thirds of American farmers are over the age of 55, with more than 10% of them 75 or older. Those aren’t great demographics for an industry that plays a critical role in feeding the global population and in sustaining our natural resources.
Millennials and the members of Gen Z have entered agricultural careers at a slower rate than previous generations for a variety of reasons, but in part because of misconceptions and lack of knowledge about the industry. Contrary to some stereotypes, modern farming is an exciting field in the midst of transformation and innovation that offers a wide range of opportunities for young people.
A career in agriculture doesn’t necessarily mean running a small family farm. Agriculture is an extremely diverse field. Modern agriculture covers an array of professional fields and skillsets that appeal to young workers, including unique technologies like robotics and automation, business management and finance, communications, animal science, natural resource management, and many others.
In fact, technology’s role in the industry is becoming more significant every year in the form of automation, artificial intelligence and advanced imaging and data. Agriculture is also pioneering important developments in sustainability, from carbon recapture to water management and hybrid crops. These advancements are focused on producing more with less.
Also, we cannot stress the importance of agriculture to our food supply, at both macro and micro levels. Agricultural professionals produce enough grains, meats, fruits, vegetables, and fiber resources to feed our growing nation. More locally, producers are essential to the farm-to-table and locavore movements.
At Genera, we’re keenly aware of the industry’s ongoing transformation. In fact, our new manufacturing facility is at the forefront of this wave of new technologies in agriculture. With our proprietary technology, we have developed a sustainable process for manufacturing 100% compostable agricultural fiber for the foodservice industry. Our partnerships with East Tennessee farmers supply the feedstock for our fiber and also support area farms by creating new market opportunities. And as the largest fully integrated domestic ag-fiber manufacturer in the U.S., we’re streamlining the supply chain and helping reduce the cost and environmental impact of transportation.
Contact us if you’re a farmer interested in our feedstock partners program or want to explore career opportunities at Genera.