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Despite Many Challenges, the U.S. Has More Young Farmers Than It Did Five Years Ago

The number of young farmers rose just 2 percent in the new farm census, and even that growth might not have been possible without incentives like tuition-free ag college.

Annie Woods is far from the screen-loving caricature of her Millennial generation. Forgoing the traditional 9-to-5 in favor of running Dark Wood Farm in Boone County, Kentucky, Woods said she doesn’t mind the early mornings or unpredictable seasons because she can see her work translate into “something tangible.”

“In a world where a lot of our transactions are digital, it’s really satisfying to see real life grow before your eyes because of your planning, care, and tending,” Woods, now 37, explained of her seventh farming season. “You can stand out in the real weather with real tools in your hands and then literally pick the fruits of your labor and eat them.”

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