Fewer young people are overcoming the hurdles to becoming a farmer.  Farmers are getting older, but unlike in other industries, younger people aren’t replacing them. The average age of a farmer in Illinois is 56. In 2002, over half of Illinois farmers were under 50; by 2011 it was 30 percent, according to University of Illinois Extension.  John Schofield, a semi-retired farmer in Roodhouse, says it’s too expensive to get in.
Click here for summary  
“I think that’s just about right. We just looked at some farm machinery over here. If you want a tractor, it’s a quarter or a half-million dollars to buy a tractor,” he said. “Who can afford that?”  Schofield says he started small with junk equipment, and that’s pretty much what he has now. Beyond the equipment, the up-front cost of buying or leasing land prevents young people from entering this high-capital, low-margin business.
(Copyright WBGZ / www.AltonDailyNews.com )