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Young farming couple seeks to inspire other young people to farm Updated: 2021-06-28 08:37:20 KST

"Here in Chungcheongbuk-do Province young farmers are leading the future of farming.
They are inspiring others who wish to settle down in the country."

35 year-old Lee Ji-hyeon moved with her husband to Goesan County in 2017.
She holds a Masters degree from Seoul National University and had been working at a research institute in Seoul.
Her husband had been working as a landscape designer for 13 years.
The two had a stable life but it wasn't the life they had dreamed of.

"When we got married, we didn't have time to have dinner together. One of us would always have to work till late, and even if we didn't have overtime work, we would be tired by the end of the day. This made us think about our future and the kind of life we really wanted to live."

When they became mushroom growers, many friends questioned their decision.

"They said I was 'overqualified' for the job. But that's not true. The work farmers do is meaningful and requires special skills. I don't see why people underestimate their work."

With four other farmers, Lee Ji-hyeon and her husband decided to promote the benefits of farming.
They've opened a cafe for people to enjoy desserts made from freshly harvested crops and they're now also running an eight-week course to give young aspiring farmers a hands-on experience.

"I'm learning a lot about a wide variety of crops and getting practical knowledge about organic and sustainable farming. I feel like I'm getting to know more about it, so I'm really excited."

Many more young adults in South Korea are leaving their 9-to-6 jobs to farm.
According to data released by Statistics Korea on Thursday, the number of farming households totaled 12,489 in 2020.
Of them, the number of households headed by farmers under the age of 40 rose to 1,362, up 153 from a year earlier.

"When the movie 'Little Forest' was out, people were like 'you can't live like that that's just a movie.' But in fact, you can. You can live that life only if you have a comprehensive plan to get started in farming."

The couple say they haven't regretted their decision to become farmers, not even for a single day.
Min Suk-hyen, Arirang News.
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