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Average California farming age creeps toward 60

Farming is a $37.5 billion business in California, employing 800,000 people. With the average age of the primary farm operator now 58 - nearly 20 percent are 70 or older - it's crucial that the state's farms and ranches get fresh blood, said Karen Ross, California's agriculture secretary.

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

The average age of a farmer in California is creeping toward 60, and the California Department of Food and Agriculture is trying to attract newcomers to work the land.

The need is especially acute, given that experts are forecasting that the world will have to double its food supply to keep up with a booming population - growing from 7 billion people to 9 billion by 2050. California is a significant player in feeding the globe, providing 12 percent of the nation's agriculture exports.

Farming also is a $37.5 billion business in California, employing 800,000 people. With the average age of the primary farm operator now 58 - nearly 20 percent are 70 or older - it's crucial that the state's farms and ranches get fresh blood, said Karen Ross, California's agriculture secretary.

For more, see: California's young farmers break traditional mold

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