Young Farmers and Ranchers say their top challenge is securing adequate land for crops and livestock.
The American Farm Bureau’s annual Young Farmer and Rancher outlook survey indicates that 22 percent of those responding identify the land question as their top concern. That’s followed by the challenge of remaining profitable, identified by 15-percent of respondents. After that, young producers worry about burdensome government regulations and red tape, as well as the availability of farm labor and related regulations.
Despite the challenges, 91 percent of those surveyed say they’re more optimistic about farming and ranching than they were five years ago. Additionally, 93 percent of young farmers and ranchers believe they are better off than they were five years ago, up from 83 percent last year.
More than 91 percent of respondents consider themselves farmers for life. And 88 percent hope to see their children do the same.
The survey shows 69 percent of young farmers and ranchers see communicating with consumers as a formal part of their jobs. Many of them do that with social media, mostly on Facebook.
Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman says that judging from the Young Farmer and Rancher survey results, the future of U.S. agriculture is in good hands.
The informal survey of 18 to 35-year-old farmers and ranchers was conducted at the American Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers and Ranchers Leadership Conference in February.