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Land access concern for new farmers

Author: Kristy

Several issues raised by Young Farmers & Ranchers survey respondents

In addition to access to land, young farmers cited economic challenges, particularly profitability, of particular concern. (USDA)

by American Farm Bureau Federation  |   March 11,2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Securing adequate land to grow crops and raise livestock was the top challenge identified again this year in the American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual outlook survey of participants in the Young Farmers & Ranchers program. That challenge was identified by 22 percent of respondents, followed by economic challenges, particularly profitability, which was identified by 15 percent of the respondents.

“For young people today, securing adequate land to begin farming or expand an established farm or ranch is a major challenge,” said Jake Carter, AFBF’s national YF&R Committee chair and a farmer from Georgia. “Another major challenge is figuring out how to excel—not just survive—in today’s economy,” he said.

Other issues ranked as top concerns by young farmers and ranchers included burdensome government regulations and red tape, 12 percent; availability of farm labor and related regulations, 9 percent; water availability and urbanization of farm land, 7 percent each; and health care availability and cost, 6 percent.

The 22nd annual YF&R survey revealed that 91 percent of those surveyed are more optimistic about farming and ranching than they were five years ago. Last year, 90 percent of those surveyed said they were more optimistic about farming compared to five years ago.

The 2014 survey also shows 93 percent of the nation’s young farmers and ranchers say they are better off than they were five years ago. Last year, 83 percent reported being better off. READ MORE

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