Helping to Feed the Future

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The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations predicts that by 2050 the world’s population will be at 9.1 billion people. That`s a big increase from the 7.5 billion people that exist today. The FAO also predicts that we will have to increase our agricultural production rates by 70% in order to feed that population.

There are many challenges in achieving that level of production. One of the biggest challenges is the retirement rates of farmers. According to Modern Farmer Magazine, “Over the next 25 years, more than one-fourth of farmers are expected to retire.”  So, with 25% percent of all farmers expecting to retire, how can we possibly expect to feed that increased population?

Answer: we breed a new generation of farmers. We have the opportunity to pre-position both a younger, and a retiring generation to take advantage of a pending population explosion. In an era where everyone is concerned about economic woes and job security, this is a proposition too good to turn down.

If you are interested in taking on the noble task of feeding the world, you may ask, “How do I begin?” There are many resources throughout the community that provide expertise in beginning a career in farming. One resource is the Cooperative Extension office. There are Cooperative Extension offices in every county in North Carolina. The goal of Cooperative Extension is to “help create prosperity for North Carolina through programs and partnerships focused on agriculture and food, health and nutrition, and 4-H youth development.”

To contact the Franklin County Cooperative Extension, call 919-496-3344 or you can email this author at If you would like to visit our office, our address is 103 South Bickett Boulevard, Louisburg, NC 27549. We look forward to hearing from you, and getting you started on your journey.