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Young farmers trying to buck trend

Young farmers like Denmark’s Jeremy Schlies are trying to reverse a trend that has been going the wrong direction since the 1970s. According to the U.S. Census, the average age of a farmer in 2017 was 59, two years older than it was in 2007 and almost a decade off from where it was in 1978. Schlies recently graduated from UW-Madison’s Farm and Industry Short Course, which runs from the late fall to early spring with an average enrollment of around 130 students. Even with the turbulent nature of commodity prices, it was not enough to steer Schlies away from his passion for the dairy industry.

Schlies feels the dairy industry has a lot of tools available for future young operators like him to be successful with farming as a career. He adds he is blessed to have a thriving family operation to take over someday, something some aspiring young farmers do not have.


Picture courtesy of Kewaunee County Farm Technology Days, which recently awarded him a scholarship for his future studies.

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Cheryl Jome

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