Voices of Peanut Farming Series

Farmers make up just two percent of the U.S. population, so chances are you haven’t had the opportunity to meet one. We’re giving you a rare glimpse into life as a peanut farmer. Hear from older peanut growers who have been farming for 30 years or longer to younger farmers continuing their family legacies. They’ll share what’s changed, what’s new and how their passion for farming outweighs the hard times. Discover the Voices of Peanut Farming with audio clips and full interviews from several of America’s 7,500 peanut farming families.

“It’s a Good Life But it’s a Hard Life”: Today’s Average Peanut Farmer

The average American farmer is 58 years old. Farmers over 55 control more than half of the country’s farmland, and one in two is likely to retire in the next decade. These “average farmers” have proudly grown the food we eat for the better part of four decades and have stayed the course. They identify as “the salt of the earth” and “seasoned” and, each day, earn the respect deserving of these tags. What unique challenges do they face? What’s changed on their farm over the years? What do they love and what’s hard about making a living from the land? Listen here.

The Younger Generation 

Just six percent of America’s farmers are under the age of 35, and only about 17 percent are younger than 45, according to USDA. As half of America’s farmers are poised to retire in the next 20 years, the future of American agriculture depends on younger generations. I spoke with several younger peanut farmers to find out why they chose careers in farming, the value of younger people in the field and the challenges and opportunities for the next generation. Listen here.

Caring for the Land: Sustainability

What does sustainability mean to you? For some, it is a loaded question with various interpretations. But one definition most farmers will agree on is that sustainability means responsibly farming so that land remains prosperous for future generations. And many peanut farmers will add that peanuts have helped sustain their farmland as well as their livelihood. Hear what these farmers said about peanuts, and how they are adopting new technologies to conserve resources and make peanuts even more sustainable.

 

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