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217 Today: Interest in agriculture is growing — but equipment and land costs make becoming a farmer hard

Winnebago High School students (from left to right) Josh Cowman, Matthew Stahl, Mason Heslop, Jason Gates and Madi Palm-Graceffa braved a spring snowstorm to take part in "Drive Your Tractor to School Day." While student FFA membership is up, the average age of farmers in the U.S. is on the rise.

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Today’s headlines:

  • Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker says the state’s Prisoner Review Board needs to change how it approaches some cases.
  • An Illinois wildlife rescuer is encouraging hunters to consider alternatives to lead ammunition to protect bald eagles.
  • The total eclipse of the sun happening April 8 is set to bring many visitors to Midwestern towns in its path, including one in southern Illinois. These communities are eager to see the economist boost.
  • The Fighting Illini women’s basketball team is headed to the women’s basketball invitation tournament championship.
  • Families from Booker T. Washington STEM Academy have been organizing protests at Champaign school board meetings focused solely on the possible firing or transfer of their principal and assistant principal. 

In today’s deep dive, we’ll learn more about how the number of farms in the U.S. is shrinking and we’ll look at what all this means for the future of farming.

217 Today is produced by Stephanie Mosqueda. Reporting today contributed by Emily Hays, Alex Degman, Tim Shelley, Eric Schmid and Peter Medlin.

Picture of Stephanie Mosqueda

Stephanie Mosqueda

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