How to Deal with the Age Gap in Agriculture

Did you know that the average person working in agriculture is 58 years old? The alarming fact is that there is an age gap crisis that must be addressed if the agriculture industry is to be sustainable for generations to come. Let’s look at why there is an age gap and tips for bridging the gap between your business and the agriculture industry.

Why is There an Age Gap?

The agriculture industry is primarily led by the generation known as Boomers. In the agribusiness sector, there is a low turn-over rate. Leaders are likely to stay in their positions for 20-30 years. Furthermore, many younger employees tend to be in jobs with little to no leadership responsibilities.

On the other hand, in the production sector, younger generations have no interest in being producers. They do not find manual labor attractive, nor do they see farming as profitable. Instead, young adults seek professional opportunities elsewhere. This leaves producers with no one to take over the farm once they retire.

Lastly, there are more Boomers near retirement than there are younger generations ready to take over.

Tips for Bridging the Age Gap in Agriculture

The trick to bridging the gap is to keep the older generation comfortable with what they are used to while simultaneously helping the younger generation to see agriculture as a modern, attractive and profitable career opportunity. Following these tips will help you achieve both of these goals.

Adopt New Technologies

The older generation tends to be leery of adopting new technologies because they are not familiar with them. However, younger generations grew up with smartphones, laptops, apps, artificial intelligence (AI), etc. Helping younger generations implement technology in their operations will make farming more appealing and help them transition to eventually taking over operations full-time.

Encourage Leadership

Whether your business is in the production or agribusiness sector, encouraging leadership among the up-and-coming generations is crucial. Prepare the younger generation to one day take over by:

  • Listening to their ideas
  • Encouraging differing leadership styles
  • Providing opportunities for young employees to make decisions

Preparing the next generation of leaders will ensure your business will continue to thrive.

Allow Younger Generations to Serve

Just as Boomers understand their generation and know how to serve them, so do younger generations. Allow younger employees to step-up-to the plate and provide for the newer generations. This will motivate young working adults to dedicate their careers to the agriculture industry.

Bonus Tip!

Hiring the right candidate will help bridge the age gap. Morris Bixby is one of the nation’s leading agricultural staffing agencies and has a deep understanding of your business’s needs. Our staffing specialists will leave no stone unturned to find the perfect talent to fill personnel vacancies. Contact us today to get started!


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