The World Continues To Change

In the 1800s, as many as 90% of the people lived on farms. By 1900 it was about 40%.

What Changed?

There was more opportunity in the 20th century than in the 19th, and people moved to cities and towns to take advantage. The growth in the availability of farm machinery made the transition easier and did not imperil the food supply for a growing population.

The trend of shrinking rural living to more urban living has not diminished. Today only about 1% of people live on farms, and in the United States, about 2.8 million people have the career farmer or farm worker. Given the importance of food supply in the world, that seems a tiny number.

I suppose more and better equipment, seed, fertilizer and pest control products, and livestock make it possible.

Given the continuing change, there may come a time when you might not know a farmer. Decades ago, everyone knew a farmer. Rather like the old times when everyone had dozens of first cousins. Rare today. Most children today have fewer than ten.

The future will be different still.

There is a limit, though. Unless we can use robots or get the food to grow itself, there is a need for people who farm.

How much has the world changed so far? There are 2.8 million farmers and farm workers in the United States. The farmer count can give you a hint when compared to other professions. There are 3 million real estate salespeople. If I had projected that outcome to my grandfather 60 years ago, I doubt he would have believed me.

Farming today is a serious business. It is not for amateurs. It takes experience, knowledge, and skill to get along. As the numbers shrink, efficiency matters and small family farms cannot easily provide everything they need. As the number of suppliers shrinks, the ability to keep food prices low will shrink. Governments have not had the problem of uncontrollable food prices before, and I doubt they can overcome the shift to stronger market entrants.

Your life is no different.

Build your life plan, assuming change will happen, and you will be forced to adapt. Observation and anticipation are critical parts of planning. Learn the trick.

I build strategic, fact-based estate and income plans. The plans identify alternate and effective ways to achieve spending and estate distribution goals.

Be in touch at 705-927-4770 or by email at

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