West Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Agribusiness is South Carolina's largest industry, and state agriculture officials say the next generation of farmers need to become interested in the field early at an early age. The 4th annual Family Ag Day at the South Carolina State Farmer's Market on Saturday put agriculture in the spotlight.
While farmers sold the fruits and vegetables of their labor, an agriculture simulator let kids get behind the wheel of a tractor to get a feel for harvesting crops.
Heyward Livingston, a farmer for 70 years and owner of Livingston Farms, says farming has become his family's business.
"It's just a good trade to pass down to your son, grandchildren," Heyward said. "Most farmers' average age probably 60 years old, and if we want to eat, these young fellows are going to have to pick up the slack."
Aaron Wood, the assistant commissioner of agency operations at the South Carolina Department of Agriculture, says with agribusiness being such a vital part of our economy, kids will need to grow up and fill these positions.
"As we look toward the future, there are a lot of jobs in ag and a lot of them not actually farming but to support the farming," Wood said.
Davis Livingston, Heyward's 8-year-old grandson, says he's more than happy to step up to the plate.
"I want to be the manager of this whole thing," Davis says of his family's business.
There were about 3,500 people at the event.