The State of Agriculture in Georgia

Agriculture is Georgia’s number 1 industry, but the future of farming is uncertain.

 

There is a serious disconnect between those inside and outside of agriculture. The gap between farmers who grow food and fiber, and those who consume it, is getting wider. In fact, most students are 3-4 generations removed from the farm.

 

The lack of understanding isn’t the only factor affecting this uncertain future. The world is in the midst of a massive food crisis. Simply to feed ourselves in the next 40 years, we will need to produce more food than the entire output of the past 10,000 years combined. This accelerated need will require more agriculturalists, better technology, and more efficient outputs. The average age of the farmer in Georgia is 58 years old and many farmers do not have succession plans in place. Who is going to fill their shoes?

 

The industry is in need more than ever to encourage young people to consider the vast career opportunities in the industry. Lack of knowledge and career interest is limiting our ability to address these issues. We have to boost educational programs in elementary schools and community organizations so that agriculture becomes a central topic in the lives of children.

 

The Georgia Foundation for Agriculture is committed to preserving the future of farming in Georgia by tackling this growing problem. Our organization is developing a pipeline for next generation farmers and leaders in agriculture. Through early exposure, classroom learning, higher education, farm-based mentorship and professional learning, our programs provide a structured path that fosters growth and sparks passion in agriculture during a student’s educational journey.