The following commentary does not necessarily reflect the views of AgWeb or Farm Journal Media. The opinions expressed below are the author's own.
Paul is now part of the fourth generation in America that is involved in farming and hopes the next generation will be involved also. Through his blog he provides analysis and insight to farmer tax questions.
I was skimming through the Reuters.com website the other day and came across an article on how US Farm Managers are enjoying the benefits of the Baby Boom Generation of farm land transfer and the continued high farm land prices.
Most of these larger national farm managers went through crisis in the early to mid 1980's as they struggled with many foreclosed farms. However, since the late 1990's they are enjoying a fairly successful business climate. According to the article, about 80% of the farmland in the US is owned by people age 65 and over and this property will be transferred to the Baby Boom Generation, of which almost all of them are not farmers. This requires the use of a competent farm manager to manage the whole farm process in many cases.
The largest US farm manager is Farmers National out of Omaha. It was founded in 1929 right at the time of the stock market crash and like many others struggled with the 1980's farm crisis and was sold to MetLife. In 2000, MetLife sold the company back to the employees and it now employs over 200 employee/owners and sell well in excess of 25 million bushels of corn, 5 million bushels of beans and over 1 million bushels of wheat. They actively manage 1.5 million acres of crop land in 23 states.
I believe that most newer farmers should view this as an opportunity to get to know these farm managers well and show that you can be a profitable farmer for them. This trend will continue and it provides a great opportunity to acquire more acreage to farm.
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