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Veteran Advisor

What Young Farmers Want

USDA - get loans and applications on line.

Land access

Write-off student loans

 

There is talk that young farmers are focused on sustainable and even organic practices.  I get the feeling that some proponents of young farmers think the old family farm, the bucolic, idyllic idea of the family in rural America, comforted by reading Mother Earth News and Rodale are the future.  I don't think so.  I think farming is hard-headed financial reality.  I think young people are not willing - maybe not even able - to take the risks and put in the work to get established.  Sorry, that train left with great-grandma's generation.

 

Niche markets and farmers markets won't support most families.  Most families are not willing to be idealistic, poverty-stricken pioneers who learned to farm in college but can't send their own kids.  

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Veteran Advisor

Re: What Young Farmers Want

Jim, I have to ask why you would randomly kick a hornets nest? In this case the hornets nest is nearly empty. Multi-generation farms have done a great job of keeping young farmers out of production agriculture. Land availability is a WAY different ball game now than it was 20 years ago. Try being a 35 year old 150 acre farmer at a land auction with an average $40,000 off farm income trying to bid against well established multi-million dollar operations or an investment group like Ceres. Thats why I don't mind low prices. Some of the big guys are starting to let go of the small 10 or 20 acre pieces of undesireble land across the fence.  

 

I don't see farming as a noble cause, so I can't get behind writing off student debt just because somebody wants to be a farmer. Uncle Sam already has a similar program for young adults. I do however think retiring farmers should give a young farmer a chance, especially if the young farmer is willing to take a bit of advice. Farming is a long term business that does not take a college degree. Farming does however take somebody with a good character, a strong financial will and a certain stubbornness to not give up when times get tough.

Veteran Advisor

Re: What Young Farmers Want

Good  post  BlkSand -  there is a world out there that isn't filled with dreams of a 64 row corn planter &  a  24 row combine---     

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Honored Advisor

Re: What Young Farmers Want

It is dangerous for the "dreamers".... this environment of fad and gadget farming promotion by non farming experts.

Farming has always been a lifetime of dedication for very long term reward that may only turn out to be respect rather than cash.

But these enviro/social change promotions can end with no reward, and as in the case of education debt forgiveness, can just be a means to an end that has nothing to do with farming or food production, but is legislative manipulation in goal.

It is a subtle trap, even on the Hallmark channel the chef walks down the street to the urban farmers market and finds freshness and flavor like nowhere else in the agriculture world.  And a kid can create this in a shipping container(with artificial lighting and a drop cord........ Now he has more "difficult to explain" debt.

 

It is not just agriculture..... we have created an environment where startups in any field have have a near impossible task.

 

 

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Veteran Advisor

Re: What Young Farmers Want

The  gist  of  higher  education  might  be  to  entrench  graduates  into  working  of  the follow   mega  ag   trends ---

 

Few  jobs  in  the  thinning  population  rural  landscape, seem  to  direct  to  the  same  ole  deal - week , after  week , after week ---     

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Contributor

Re: What Young Farmers Want

freedom and independence of farming, smart work. for more help check this agmarks

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