A farmer plows a field near the town of Arvin, southeast of Bakersfield, California. Photo: David McNew/Getty ImagesOfficials say the average farmer in California is nearly 60 years old — and nearly 20 percent are older than 70. They say without an influx of younger and more ethnically diverse farmers, the state’s $37 billion industry will suffer.

KQED’s Forum discusses the graying of the agriculture industry in a broadcast from our Sacramento studios.

Original Broadcast: Fri, Jan 13, 2012 — 10:00 AM

Host: Dave Iverson


  • Craig McNamara, president of the California State Board of Food and Agriculture, owner of Sierra Orchards and president and founder of the Center for Land Based Learning
  • Emma Torbert, farmer and partner at The Cloverleaf at Bridgeway Farms
  • Rich Collins, farmer and owner of California Vegetable Specialties
  • Thomas Vang, outreach specialist with the Lao Family Community of Stockton
  • Tony Serrano, general manager of ALBA Organics
KQED’s Forum: The Changing Face of Farming 14 January,2012Wendy Goodfriend

  • David Bean

    I have heard from a farmer friend of mine that the UC Santa Cruz Small Farm Program is really good. He has farmed in the delta, taught at Davis, run small business development centers and farmed just until last year when he retired at 79. He does not give empty praise with regard to this subject. A farm program must have real farmers… not theorists. There is a good book: Urban Farming that gives many of the business, market determination guidance.

    Unknown to many, including the New York Times is that the discipline of economics is different from agricultural economics. On most campuses where agricultural economics it taught, it is at the opposite end of the campus from the economics department.

    Your program on this subject is important, given the threat of climate change. Thank you.


Wendy Goodfriend

I am the Senior Interactive Producer for KQED Food. I have designed and produced food-related websites and blogs for KQED including Bay Area Bites; Check, Please! Bay Area;  Taste This; Jacques Pepin’s websites; Weir Cooking in the City and KQED Food. When I am not creating and managing food websites I am taking photos and video of Bay Area Life and designing online navigation systems. My professional education and training includes: clinical psychology, photography, commercial cooking, web design, information architecture and UX. You can find me engaged in social media on Twitter @bayareabites and on Facebook at Bay Area Bites. I can also be found photoblogging at look2remember.

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