Average Age of Farmers Increasing

average-age-of-farmer-photo.jpgAccording to the Toronto Star, the average age of an individual engaged in farming is increasing. The Amherstburg Echo states that the average age of a farmer in Ontario is 52 years. I don’t find this hard to believe considering historical commodity prices and the discouraging statistics regarding the profitability of farming. Purchasing an existing farm operation or establishing a new farm operation takes a huge capital investment as well as the passion to make it happen. A young person wanting to get involved in farming takes a great handout from somewhere in order to even think about it. This worries me, partly because I’m almost 52 but mostly because my husband, Peter, is even closer! Peter and I love farming – both the work and the lifestyle. When we saw that a young person showed that same love of farming, consistently and without exception, we thought we could provide the handout required to establish him in the business of farming. That special young person is Andrew Mazurka, a recent graduate of the University of Guelph. My husband and I have formed a partnership with Andrew and recently purchased a 112-acre farm with a country bungalow nestled at the front of the property. Another asset included in the newly-formed partnership is a new Peterbilt tractor-trailer. Andrew is the newest owner/operator driver for Kleen Transport in Norwich, Ontario. Peter and I have always told Andrew that in order to own a farm, Andrew would have to ‘subsidize’ the farm purchase with an additional full-time job. The purchase of this tractor-trailer will provide that full-time position that subsidizes the farm purchase for Andrew. I think that it’s sad to think that farming is no longer a career that provides a living, it’s really becoming a hobby that has to be subsidized. There is at least one other way that Andrew can own a farm – marry our daughter!

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