Government-backed loans to new farmers have more than doubled in the past decade in the United States. The goal is to reverse a worrisome trend: U.S. Census data showed that the average age of U.S. farmers rose from 52 in 1987 to 55 in 2007. The government hopes that new census data due this year will show more young farmers, a factor that government leaders say is critical for the future of food production. Because of its focus on specialty crops and organic farming, the new generation already spells trouble for the entrenched farming industry, starting with biotech and chemical giant Monsanto… Read more about that, and about the US public policy designed to increase support to beginning farmers: Eyeing greener acres, new farmers reap growing U.S. aid (Reuters)
Good news: agriculture is getting more attention than ever before among economic leaders of the world, according to World Farmers Organization leader Robert Carlson, who attended the recent World Economic (WE) Forum in Davos, Switzerland: Carlson representing agriculture at the World Economic Forum (Farm & Ranch Guide) Bad [old] news: GMO are expected to save the day. Apparently, agroecology was never mentioned in the conversations held by the big and powerful in the Swiss Alps, despite the appearance of UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food Olivier de Schutter.