Young Optimists

March 4, 2011 03:11 AM


Young producers are optimistic about their future on the farm, realizing their leadership development is necessary for their farms to survive transition.
Often it is wondered what young producers think the future of agriculture will hold for them and a recent survey conducted by American Farm Bureau Federation’s Young Farmers & Ranchers program revealed that young producers believe their future to be bright. In fact, 87% of the young producers surveyed this year are more optimistic about the future of agriculture than they were five years ago. This is the highest level of optimism ever recorded by the survey, passing the previous record of 82% set in 2008.
Almost 94% of those surveyed said that they plan to farm for the rest of their lives and 96% said that they hope their children follow in their footprints. While 96% hope for this, the survey revealed that only 87% of them believe that their children will be able to stay on the farm.
These young farmers and ranchers aren’t all optimism though, they also have concerns. The largest worry among the surveyed group was the profitability of production agriculture. Nearly 22% ranked this as their top concern, while 17% listed government regulation and 12% said environmental regulations.
This survey of producers ages 18-35 was conducted at the annual meeting of AFBF’s YF&R. Is your next generation prepared for leadership? You can assess your leadership skills using the Farm Journal Legacy Project "Leadership Skills Inventory" Tool. For more information about succession planning, check out

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