Challenges Young Farmers are Facing

October 21, 2009 07:00 PM
 

Sara Schafer, Top Producer Business & Crops Online Editor
 
What are the top concerns of young farmers today? On the Top Producer Young Farmer Network, we asked just this question. Read the top concerns.
 
 
Needed Capital
"I have been working into the family crop production business for about 5 yrs, so things are quite a bit easier for me, says Greg Becker, a farmer from Hume, Mo. "But as with most farmers, this is a high capital business, which requires banker that trusts you.”
 
Becker says for beginning farmers, this trust will probably not come within the first year.
 
Securing Land
Another big hindrance is finding land to farm, says Brandon Shelton, of Woolstock, Iowa.
 
"Gaining control of land is also very hard where I live,” he says. "I'm only 21 and because of that I feel very underestimated by both bankers and landlords. You have to love the business to make it work.”
 
Marketing Challenges
Scott Strand, of Minneapolis, Minn., says once you overcome the hurdles of obtaining the necessary capital to establish a crop, you then must have strong marketing skills.
 
"Coming off record highs in corn and beans, along with high input cost, where is the market heading in the next year? When and where do I make sales?” he asks.
 
All the Above
Of course, the combination of these many challenges is an obstacle in itself.
 
"I think it is a combination of everything,” says Andy Cunningham, a farmer in Beaver County, Okla. "If you can find the land, you may not be able to borrow the funds. If you have the funds, you can't find the land. The volatility in the market is frustrating, but something we are probably going to have to get used to.”
 
 
 
 
For More Information
 

 
You can e-mail Sara Schafer at sschafer@farmjournal.com.
 

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