VOA Special Report

The Future of Farming

Agriculture in America is increasingly an older man’s game: Nearly two thirds of the nation’s farmers are 55 or beyond. Part is the lure of the larger cities. Part is the consolidation of the family farm into larger, corporate groups, which has changed the face of the rural landscape.


My grandpa’s family kind of established this farm and my dad took it over. I kind of got to take advantage of it, if I want to. The big question is if I want to or not. There’s a lot of unknowns; what’s going to happen to our economy. So, part of me wants to go get my teaching degree so I can have that stability, have that [medical] insurance, just know that I have an income coming in because with farming, because if you’re on your own, who knows if you’re going to be making money or losing money. And then again, you never know with health.

That’s the thing about farming, good luck getting good insurance if you’re going to be self-employed. Health insurance, to me, I guess, it should be something everybody has access to at an affordable rate and right now that’s not the way it is. Things look kind of scary in that field.

America, I guess, to my generation, is kind of like a wild card. Which direction are we heading? The perception that if you work hard, you can make a living, raise a family, provide for yourself and your family, I think that perception is a little under threat right now.

Every night I come in here and talk to my grandpa. We have a lot of the same concerns and the same worries when he was my age. He grew up in the 30s and 40s, and things were, I won’t say similar to now, but kind of that same aspect of who knows what’s going to happen. So I kind of like hearing about what he thought about when he was my age and if he knew where he was going.

—Connor McCormick, Farmer

Mayville Township, Minnesota