We Hear You: Opinions Vary on Opportunities for Young Farmers

February 6, 2011 08:38 AM

Opinions Vary on Opportunities for Young Farmers

I have just read with great interest your editorial in Top Producer magazine ["A Very High Bar," December 2010]. I wanted to comment on your concern for training younger farmers for the upcoming great turnover of retiring farmers.

I find it almost amusing that you are concerned about the number of farmers we may need when an article in this issue says the top concern to a 30- to 39-year-old producer is access to more farmland—hardly a case for needing more farmers. To the contrary, the number needed is declining with every 24-row planter built. Every single farmer I know wants to expand his acreage but can’t because of massive competition, much of it from mega-farms.

If you want to promote something, maybe it should be that our government needs to target
its social program (err, the farm bill) toward smaller farm size. Better yet, advocate population control worldwide, for the earth is of finite size and our standard of living depends on conserving and not destroying what is left.

John Corbat
Corbat Farms
Fort Wayne, Ind.

I recently read your articles on the lack of young farmers [December 2010], and I totally agree on the numbers. I am a 47-year parttime farmer with 600 acres; for the past five years I have been trying to farm full time. Even at my age I feel like a kid at many farm events, farm sales or other places farmers gather. Even with a full line of updated equipment, I find it impossible to rent the land to make it full time. My local bank would much rather rent to the bigger farmers than to me.

I believe that is the main reason for the lack of younger farmers—no land, no farming. I believe the interest is there but very little opportunity. Keep on writing about younger farmers. Hopefully someday something will change.

Carl Toohill

Land Articles Hit Home

Really enjoyed the land buying article [Mid-February 2010]. The key phrase was "they don’t like an increase in interest rates." Now what we need to know is what the future holds for interest rates. Thanks.


I wanted to send a note to let you know how much I enjoy the magazine. In reading the edition [Summer 2010], I found a quote from "Funds Enter Farmland" to be very disturbing.

Tom Green states while talking of the Black Sea Region, "Our biggest hurdle is government subsidies that keep inefficient producers in business, making it hard to attain scale." Should we, in our national publications, give the perception that we somehow know better than those who set policies for their own countries’ producers? I for one do not hold Corporate America up as a standard I wish to emulate.

Thanks for a great magazine.

Patrick Fordyce

Reader Says Humane Society Misrepresented

I am a new subscriber to Top Producer and just happened to pick up the [September 2010] issue and saw the article "Humane is the Game" about how animal advocacy targets agriculture. I was so disgusted reading that I just am canceling the subscription.

I grew up on a farm, I live in a farm area and I have been involved with animal protection for a number of years. I know exactly what happens to animals and the heinous crimes committed against farm animals. [For you] to attack the Humane Society or misrepresent their efforts—I was just really disgusted. I am ashamed to be in the agricultural community most of the time because of how they treat animals.

Jodi Rausch

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