HENDERSON COUNTY, N.C. — Agriculture is one of the biggest industries in both North and South Carolina, but the face of farming is changing. Nationwide, the American Farm Bureau says only about eight to nine percent of farmers are under the age of 35.
"That's going to be a bridge we'll have to cross here in the next 10 to 20 years as a lot of those guys, you know, age out, retire and pass away," said Trey Enloe with Henderson County's Bright Branch Farms. "If they don't have a younger generation to continue that farm, it's a little scary."
Enloe is a fifth-generation farmer and has watched the county's landscape change from farms as far as the eye can see, to neighborhoods. He says more older farmers are choosing to sell their land, while fewer young farmers are starting from scratch.
"Land is... $30,000 an acre," he continued. "Because you're competing with the housing market. If you're spending $30,000 an acre for an apple orchard, you're going to spend your whole life trying to recoup that investment..."