This paper explores young persons’ interests in farming using published data from the Census of Agriculture and related
sources. One of the salient findings of the research is that the head of the farming household provides positive
reinforcement for young persons in the household to engage in farming; the strength of the reinforcement is the largest
for biological sons or daughters and least for adopted children. In spite of this, parental influence, 92% of young
persons from farming families look for employment elsewhere. The consequence is reflected in the median growth rate of
young producers in Illinois, -2.7%.