Dear Friend, 

Walking along machinery hill, going through the Miracle of Birth Center, and observing the talent in the 4-H building gives those who don’t typically see agriculture firsthand the perfect opportunity to engage with our state’s producers. This has always been one of my favorite parts of our State Fair: the chance all Minnesotans to connect with our ag community. 

Minnesota farmers are the driving force in our economy, and it is essential, that our nation invest in the next generation of producers and connect with youth who haven’t been involved in generations of farming and ranching. The statistics are clear: the agriculture sector is facing an aging workforce, with the 2017 Census of Agriculture reporting the average age of all U.S. farm producers at 57.5 years old. Farmers under the age of 35 now make up only nine percent of the ag workforce, and largely because of this demographic challenge, our nation’s food security will soon depend on a sector that is only expected to grow by two percent.


Top left, students participating in Congressman Emmer’s 2022 youth in agriculture roundtable discussion. Top right and lower panel, Congressman Emmer visits the 2022 Minnesota State Fair.

I want to turn things around. Earlier this year, my office hosted a roundtable focused on raising youth interest for careers in farming and ranching and learning about the challenges youth are facing as they enter the ag industry. Since that conversation, I have done the following to foster interest and grow our farming sector here at home:

As the Great Minnesota Get-Together wraps up for the year, than the thousands of youth who bring their animals, projects, and passion to share at the fair. There is no denying the host of obstacles our future farmers face, but I am committed to making sure they have the tools they need to succeed.