(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) New farmers today are becoming harder to find.
In Andrew and Buchanan counties, more and more farmers are reaching the age of retirement with very few younger generations replacing them.
With the costs of land and equipment continuing to increase and a season's crop production left in the hands of mother nature, many young people are taking less risky occupations in order to make a more reliable living.
"The cost of farming has made it pretty difficult for some of the smaller farmers," Allyson Wells, Executive Director County Executive Director for Andrew and Buchanan County FSA Offices said. "When you're talking a half of million dollars for a combine and $250,000 to $350,000 for a tractor; people just don’t realize the cost of what it is out here on the farms nowadays."
Wells says most older farmers that are deciding to retire are renting out their lands to larger farms in the area with more hired help.
Currently there is over 130,000 acres of farmland between Andrew and Buchanan Counties that most rural communities rely on for their economies and livelihoods.