The days of generations of farmers staying in the industry and operating family farms have been gone for awhile. Each new generation sees more and more young people getting away from farming and into jobs in the technology sector or in more urban areas than farmlands. In the most recent census in Canada however, for the first time in 25 years, the number of younger farmers-those under the age of 35-has increased. There are few reasons this trend might be showing up.
Grain crops in Canada lately have been very successful. Commodity markets are up as are beef prices and interest rates are low and these are all factors that make farming and agriculture attractive. Female farmers are on the rise as well, with more women working on family farms. The trend is for parents to be adding on crops and livestock to their farming business, so there isn't an increase in the number of farms, but the size of existing farms. This could have environmental impacts as the need for irrigation, pesticide use and cultivation increases. While it might seem it's a "back to the earth" trend, the challenges and technology that go with younger farmers and larger facilities are a concern for future generations.