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Older farmers' prevalence, capital, health, age-related limitations, and adaptations.
Cole HP; Donovan TA
J Agromedicine 2008 Apr; 13(2):81-94
A major reduction in the proportion of older farmers in the farm population has been predicted for nearly 50 years. Not only has the proportion of older farmers increased but the proportion of younger farmers has decreased dramatically. In 2002, principal operators age greater or equal to 65 years of age comprised 26.2 percent of US farmers. These older farmers and farm landlords combined owned 34 percent of all farm assets. In addition to their economic capital, older farmers have large stocks of social and cultural capital that contribute to their communities and the nation. A large majority of older people in the US population, and older farmers in particular, remain healthy and active. All older adults experience normal age-related deficits in sensory, motor, and cognitive functioning. However, age-related adaptations of healthy older adults, including their experience and compensatory behavioral and information processing strategies, minimize many age-related deficits. These factors allow perhaps 80 percent or more of older farmers to continue working safely and productively well past typical retirement age.
Agriculture; Agricultural-industry; Agricultural-workers; Farmers; Age-factors; Age-groups; Lifespan; Work-practices; Worker-health; Work-capacity; Author Keywords: Farmers; aging; capital; health; injury
Henry P. Cole, EdD, Professor of Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health, Southeast Center for Agricultural Health and Injury Prevention, 1141 Red Mile Road, Suite 102, Lexington, KY 40504-9842 USA
Agriculture; Cooperative Agreement
Issue of Publication
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
Journal of Agromedicine
University of Kentucky
Page last reviewed: May 13, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division