There’s no question the farm economy isn’t doing so well right now. Corn is seeing prices below $4, cattle are in the red, and other signs show farming isn’t the best field in which to have a career. But this is exactly the time when kids should go back and work with their parents on the farm, says Bob Utterback of Utterback Marketing.
He predicts the next 15 to 20 years, ag culture will something people should take advantage of, citing a global increase of demand with a growing population, and innovations in technology like the autonomous tractors that were unveiled at the Farm Progress Show.
“Kids are going to have to be sophisticated,” said Utterback. “There’s fantastic opportunities compared to outside business.”
While the distant future looks promising, farmers have to get there first. Utterback forecasts the next 1 to 1.5 years, weak prices will continue. He says there are a lot of farmers that are 60 or older and lived through the 80s farm crisis and they don’t want to relive those days.
Parents will have to figure out ways to get their sons and daughters to come back to the operation, said Utterback. There are growing business opportunities when it comes to farming if you are “financially solvent” and a solid, proven history with bankers and neighbors.
“You got to convince them of the freedom of the job, the ability to grow equity,” said Utterback. “You can’t find very many $60,000 to $100,000 out there in the open market.
The biggest issue with parents getting children to come back to work? Working with parents.
“Dads and moms, you’re going to have to bend a little to bring the kids in,” said Utterback. “Now they’re adults and you can’t treat them like they’re 12-years-old anymore.”