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Oregon Recruiting Young Dairy Farmers

CRESWELL, Ore. — Oregon is recruiting more young dairy farmers than other states.

The state Dairy Farmers Association says the enthusiasm of the youth helps the industry keep up with the times.

Harrold’s Dairy Farm is a fourth-generation farm.

The youngest farmer there to take on the business is 23 years old. Bobbi Harrold just graduated with an animal sciences degree and is giving her all to the family farm.

Oregon’s dairy industry is bucking a trend that plagues this sector nationwide.

Here the younger generation is taking notice of its worth, and the demographics are changing.

The Oregon Dairy Farmers Association says some young dairy farmers have more education and better technology.

Harrold says she went to school with a lot of people who are heading back to their family farms.

“I think that for a lot of young people to be able to be your own boss and it’s really hard work, but it’s worth it. It’s a great place to grow up, and I think if you grow up in it, more people are seeing that is kind of how they want to raise their family,” Harrold said.

Dairy farming in Oregon survived because of the growth in organic dairying, and the Tillamook area continues to provide the opportunity for farmers to graze their dairy cattle–something that’s not always an option in other states.

Harrold says she puts in 10-hour days on the farm, and within the next couple of years hopes to become a full partner.

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