Local farmers predict positive future for agriculture industry

Published: Mar. 29, 2023 at 7:25 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Despite more ‘for sale’ signs on farmland and dwindling interest in the agriculture industry, experts say the future is bright for farming.

‘I’m encouraged by the future in agriculture,” said Ogle County Farm Bureau president and fifth-generation Poole Farms farmer Keith Poole.

Poole says because the older generation dominates the agriculture industry right now, openings at local farms will become more available to the younger generation.

“Young people that are inspired and energetic and want to get involved with agriculture, I think there’s opportunities there,” Keith said. “I think there’s older retiring farmers that are looking for young people to take over their operations.”

Keith says if his daughter didn’t want to become a farmer and take over Poole Farms after he retires, he would look for someone who’s ready to start their own farm legacy.

“I would look for another younger individual that would take over the operation and come in and continue to farm the farm,” Keith said.

Keith is hopeful for the future of agriculture since it’s an industry that will never go away and will always need new faces since people need to eat.

“I think the future in agriculture is bright for young people,” Keith said.

Megan Poole is a sixth-generation farmer at Poole Farms. She says as she experimented with other jobs, she found her passion remains in farming and recommends other young people to see what the industry has to offer.

“There’s a lot more purpose to farming than a lot of things you might choose to do as you get into the workforce,” Megan said. “There’s a lot of satisfaction in it.”

Megan says one of the things that pushed her into farming was seeing the love her dad and grandfather had for the job and how much they enjoyed waking up every morning to get tasks done.