A farmer is now considered young at 38

Until what age is a farmer considered young? Faced with an aging profession and a decline in union engagement, the Young Farmers union has decided to push back the age of its elected officials from 35 to 38 years. After a year of reflection, the union adopted this measure, Thursday, December 2, at its winter universities in Angers.

A decision revealing changes in the profession, while the average installation age of a farmer is 36 years old, according to 2019 data from the Social Security of agricultural professions, the MSA. “This reflection on the evolution of our eligibility conditions is part of a global union revival project”, specifies a press release from Young Farmers, evoking a desire “To better adapt our network and its structure to its socio-demographic environment”. And in order to promote the renewal of teams, elected officials also voted to limit them to two consecutive terms at the same level.

The general secretary of the union, Arnaud Gaillot, evokes a “General development of society” which also concerns its sector. “Our life is shifting, we have older children, and the age of our retirement has gone from 60 to 67”, he comments on France Inter.

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1% of farmers are under 25

What is the profile of these young farmers? “They are more mature, trained and already have a professional background, sometimes even in other sectors”, details the union’s press release. François-Etienne Mercier, cereal producer in Méhoncourt (Meurthe-et-Moselle), near Nancy, attests to this. While his grandfather started his career at 14, and his father at 18, he started his profession at the age of 23, after a general baccalaureate, a BTS general technology and a professional license in management. agricultural business.

“We, the children of farmers, like to gain experience elsewhere, to have another vision than the family farm”, he comments, describing a job “Which has totally evolved” and “The need to have a level of luggage before settling in”.

According to the latest study by the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE), farmer-operators only represented 1.5% of total employment in the country, a proportion that has been divided by more than four in forty years. The proportion of men – which was 52% of all employed people in 2019 – amounted to 73%, against 61% in 1982, according to this latest Focus note from INSEE, covering the year 2019.

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On the age pyramid side, 55% of French farmers are 50 years old or over, i.e. 24 points more than for all employed people (31%), and 13% are 60 years old or over, against 3% of those in employment. use. Conversely, only 1% of farmers are under 25, against 8% for all employed people.

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A farmer is now considered young at 38

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