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Oregon dairy industry looks to the next generation
6/6/2012
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An influx of younger dairy farmers in Oregon bodes well for the state's economy and environment:
 
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Audio 01
While the average age of farmers in general is going up nationwide, there is at least one sector that appears to be bucking the trend: 
KRAHN: "Well, here in Oregon, I believe that there is a much larger percentage of young people getting into the dairy industry than we see other places." :09
 
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Audio 02
While there are no current statistics available, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest that the state's dairy demographics are changing. Jim Krahn of the Oregon Dairy Farmers Association says that the next generation is well educated, progressive, and responsible. Many learned those traits from their parents but are poised to take it to the next level: 
KRAHN: "I think they realize that dairy farming today is not just milking cows. It's really a well-rounded approach. Part of that would be stewardship, part of that would be care of the animals, and part of that would be interacting with the public." :14
 
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Training and leadership programs are available to help engage young dairy operators in ways that were not possible to the older generation. For Oregon consumers, it's good to know there is a new wave of dairy farmers arriving on the scene. In Salem, I'm Bruce Pokarney.


Additional audio: Audio 03
KRAHN says the new wave of younger dairy operators bodes well for the future of the industry in Oregon: 
"Well, I think from the attitude and interest from the younger generation, that's a huge positive thing. We just have to make sure we do all we can so that they can financially exist within this setting." :15
 
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Additional audio: Audio 04
KRAHN says the message to Oregon consumers is that there is plenty of interest by young people in being a dairy farmer, and that's a good thing: 
"These young people are concerned, obviously, about the product they are making, the way their animals are handled, and obviously the environmental stewardship piece, obviously, too. Those things are extremely important to them because they have grown up in a little different setting, a little different generation." :16
 
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Full story
 
http://oregon.gov/ODA/news/120606dairy.shtml