The Missouri Farm Bureau recently donated $25,000 to the Joplin School District’s agriculture program. The money will go in part towards rebuilding from last year’s devastating tornado as well as funding the Future Farmers of America.
Members of the Future Farmers of America praised the donation, hoping that it will help rebuild Joplin’s agricultural technology building and will help stabilize the agricultural program all while reiterating that “farming is not a hobby, it’s a lifestyle.”
The donation demonstrates some of the major challenges facing the agricultural sector today, the first being increasingly fickle weather patterns. The string of tornadoes that devastated the Midwest and the South last year were just one part of a larger struggle against unpredictable weather patterns. Over the last several months, floods, droughts, heavy rain, and tornadoes all did significant damage to the the agricultural sector across the country.
In addition to severe weather, farmers today are facing an increasingly graying profession. The average age of farmers has steadily risen over the past decade, climbing as high as 57. Groups like the Farm Bureau and the Future Farmers of America hope that donations and scholarships can go to interesting more young people in an agricultural career and can help stabilize and shrink the age gap in American agriculture today.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer