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Crop Farmer

20-Year-Prospect

You're a very important individual, Old MacDonald, and you'll be even more important 20 years from now.

Some seven billion people currently reside on Earth, and that number is getting bigger...and bigger...and bigger, all the time. By 2050, there may be 9.6 billion human beings on this planet, all squashed together and waiting for someone to serve lunch.

This is where you come in. When it comes to feeding lots and lots of people, crops–especially grain crops–are the answer to a stomach's prayers. The state of Kansas, for example, grows enough wheat annually to feed the current global population for about two weeks, and the 2014 U.S. corn crop is so big there isn't enough room to store all those ears of sweet yellow goodness. Free popcorn for everybody!

Technology has a lot to do with your modern crop yields. While people in the West freak out every time they hear the phrase "Genetically Modified Organism," the reality is that genetically modified dwarf wheat saved the populations of India and Pakistan from starvation in the 1960s. But, even with plants rigged to produce lots and lots of food, you still can't control the weather or the crop prices that could ruin you.

So, dear Crop Farmer, you can count on being around for years to come...so long as climate change and bankruptcy don't wipe out the family spread.

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