Oklahoma Farmers Slightly Older Than Average

Monday, July 2nd 2007, 7:34 am
By: News On 6

PEMBERVILLE, Ohio (AP) -- Oklahoma farmers have an average age of 56, slightly higher than the national average, according to the most recent census figures. Those figures, from 2002, show that the average age of America's estimated 2 million farmers is 55.3 years.

Mississippi farmers have the nation's oldest average age of 57.2 years, while Florida farmers have an average age of 57 years.

So many American farmers are working longer than ever before that one in four is at least 65 years old. Computerized gadgets that steer tractors and deliver feed to hogs allow farmers to work past traditional retirement ages.

Many stay on because they don't have a retirement plan or because their children have no interest in farming.

Six percent of all farm operators are under age 35. Two decades ago they accounted for 16% of farmers.