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Influx of Youth in Wyoming Agriculture

Hogadon may be falling back, but Agriculture here in Wyoming is not. Mainly because there is a large influx of younger people entering the industry.
As many industries struggle to keep up with the times, one of the oldest fields continues to expand none the less.
David Bullard, a statistician for Wyoming Workforce Services said, "We have some sectors where they have been getting smaller, but agriculture's
been growing."
The next gee ration is a big part of that growth. Since 2007 the amount of farmers and ranchers under 35 in Wyoming has increased nearly one fifth. The industry is currently dominated by producers aged 59 to 75. One ag expert says those producers embrace the changing of the guard.
Scott Cotton,with the University of Wyoming said, "When they see younger people getting interested in it, they become enthusiastic too."
But is it worth it for young adults to enter the ag industry instead of pursuing careers in other industries.
Bullard said, "Recent data shows that it's growing, and actually quite a bit faster than overall employment."
Cotton says farmers and ranchers of the 21st century will change agriculture for the better.
Cotton said, "They'll conduct industry the same way its been doing, but add more to it."
He says the next wave of ag professionals is more open to new methods of business, marketing, and communication than their predecessors and they're more tech savvy.
Cotton said, "We've had young people who started operations that use live two way video chats to show us a weed at a field."
And that is only the beginning says Cotton. As these next gen ag pros see the industry on a much larger scale than those before them.
Cotton said, "Most of those young people see agg production as a global enterprise. They're willing to talk to other countries. That's gonna widen our stability and our resilience as an industry and as a country."
Cotton says he is happy to see young people get interested about agriculture and hopes to see the current trends continue.


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