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> The number of farmers is decreasing not because it is harder to be a farmer, but because farming is becoming more efficient and mechanized.

Yes, but if the children of farmers have left and aren't going to take on their parents' industry, what happens when they truly can't do it anymore? The machines don't run the farm, yet, they only make running it more efficient and easy. You still have to know what to do, and go out and get it done, and this isn't something that people can just pick up in a day.

If the natural apprenticeship mechanism that used to provide for this has been broken, what's going to replace it?

Technology progresses, the amount of labor needed to run a farm decreases. Not all the kids are leaving, just lost of them. Also, the farms are increasingly becoming corporations rather than family affairs anyways, they do find people to hire if they pay enough. Otherwise, they just reduce labor needs by mechanizing.

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