The youth comprise a significant component of the rural population. They are rarely considered in policies, programs, or strategies for the revitalization of rural America. This paper focuses on rural youth as a potential dynamic element of change in rural America. The questions addressed are: how can we help to motivate more young people to consider careers in agriculture; and how can we improve our abilities to retain and attract talented young people to rural areas. A selected review of the relevant literature suggests that current factors influencing choice of an agriculture major differ from the past and that migration away from rural areas has both economic and noneconomic determinants. It is also clear that rural industrialization is not an effective strategy for retaining or attracting youth to rural areas. Suggestions for demonstrating to rural youth how their aspirations can be achieved in a rural setting are discussed.

Publication Date