Utah farmers get older as the young bail out

Utah farmers get older as the young bail out 

Daily Herald(UT)

Kim Burgess

LOGAN, Utah — Nearly every morning, 88-year-old Don Hansen gets up at 5 a.m. to check on his alfalfa fields and dairy cattle. After 60 years in the business, he’s slowed down a bit but not much.

“Now I lay there a little longer in bed if I feel like it,” he said. “I only need seven hours (of sleep) usually, but sometimes I rest a little more.”

The Smithfield resident isn’t the only senior citizen who’s still climbing on a tractor; a growing number of farmers are working long into their golden years. Nationwide, nearly 30 percent of farmers are over 65, and the trend holds true in Cache Valley where the average age for a farmer is 54.3 years old.

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