There’s a lot of talk about how farmers are getting old. But what we hear less about is the fact that when those farmers retire, their land may disappear too.
Call it a “quiet crisis.” Nationwide, America has lost 72 million acres of farmland since 1982, about one-third of it to development. That trend is likely to accelerate as farmers die and retire. In Iowa, people over the age of 65 own 56 percent of the farmland, and 30 percent is owned by those over 75. In Maine, some 400,000 acres—one-third of the state’s agricultural land—is expected to change hands over the next decade. The global consequences of losing that land are frightening. I explore them — and what we can do — in my latest column for the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture.
Take a look and as always, feedback is welcome.