Congressman Gibson: Keep farming alive

By Brandi Bailey

August 9, 2013 Updated Aug 12, 2013 at 10:11 AM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton) The typical family farm in Upstate New York is struggling to make ends meet, but the future could be looking brighter.

Congressman Chris Gibson stressed that he hopes the Farm Bill will help farming grown in the future, but doesn't ignore the struggle that looms ahead if it doesn't.

The average age of today's farmer is in their late 50s. This means that the population is aging, and their aren't enough younger farmers coming up to take over.

Gibson says it's essential to provide grants and loans, along with discounts on insurance for farmers.

Another idea within the Farm Bill is to have a program where retiring farmers can serve as mentors, giving younger people a chance to become familiar with the industry.

"We're hoping that new farmers get their roots on the ground. We know the first decade is critically important . It's important to work together and is vitally important that we support our family farms," Gibson said.

Gibson adds that not only should be there mechanical training but business training. This could help teach future farmers how to keep a farm running for generations.

Work will continue on the Farm Bill when Congress returns next month.

The House and Senate passed different versions of the bill. The current Farm Bill extension expires at the end of September.