By Justin Walker

Times are changing. That’s true for agriculture, as well.

Technology. Consumer demands. Prices. But that’s not all. Farm demographics in Texas and the United States are changing, too.

Women and young farmers and ranchers are doing their part in agriculture, breaking stereotypes and pursuing their passions.

In the recently released 2017 Census of Agriculture, 36 percent of all farmers were women, and 56 percent of all farms reported at least one woman makes decisions impacting operations. There are over 1.2 million female farmers in America and 156,233 in the Lone Star State.

Young farmers and ranchers also play a significant role in agriculture. According to the census, there are 321,261 farmers and ranchers under the age of 35 in the U.S. In Texas, there are 28,187 young farmers.

That’s promising. These men and women are the future of agriculture. Technology and advancements in agriculture will help them be more efficient than ever before.

What about new and beginning farmers and ranchers? Well, there are 908,274 in the U.S. and 118,999 of them are Texans.

Eager. Tenacious. Yet cautious. The challenges are many for those in agriculture, but a fresh perspective and innovative skills will move them, and the industry, forward.

There’s a lot of data in the census—some 6.4 million data points to be more accurate. But it’s important to recognize the contributions of all farmers—women and men, young and old, new and experienced. Without their efforts, Texas agriculture wouldn’t be the same.