Agricultural Education and Communication Department

Degree Name

BS in Agricultural Communication




Megan Silcott


The agriculture industry is seeing a decrease in the number of beginning farms, operations that have been in existence for 10 years or less, across the United States. According to the most current Census of Agriculture by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), beginning farms make up approximately a quarter of the 2.1 million total farms across the country. This is a 20 percent drop between the 2007 and the 2012 censuses (2012 Census Highlights, Beginning Farmers, 2017). At the same time, the average age of the U.S. farmer is increasing and is now at 58 (Williamson, J. & Williams, R., 2017). In order to ensure food security in the future, the younger generation needs to step into the production agriculture industry. However, young farmers face many challenges with costs of farming on the rise. 61 percent of U.S. farmers work some days off the farm, and 52.2 percent have a primary occupation other than farming (2012 Census Highlights, Farm Demographics, 2017). One of the reasons for the decline in beginning farmers is that farming alone cannot generate a substantial enough income to sustain the life of farmers and their families.

If the next generation is going to enter production agriculture, they need to be supported in a variety of ways. The goal of this project was to assist in the first steps of supporting young farmers by organizing a screening of the documentary Farmers For America, which showcases several farmers and discusses issues the agriculture industry is facing today. By hosting the screening on campus at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly), the Farmers For America screening can raise awareness, educate, and inspire the younger generation of agriculturalists.

Senior Project Poster.pdf (1217 kB)
Farmers For America Documentary Screening Project Poster