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March 11, 2014

Young Farmers Identify Top Concerns In Annual Survey

For more information on Newsline, contact: Kari Barbic, Media Specialist, American Farm Bureau Federation, karib@fb.org.

American Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers and Ranchers program includes men and women between the ages of 18 and 35. Some of these men and women recently participated in the annual informal outlook survey to identify their top concerns as young farmers and ranchers. Seanica Otterby has the story.
OtterbyThere are many challenges young farmers and ranchers face, but AFBF Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee Chair Jake Carter says the top challenge identified through the survey is securing adequate land to begin farming or expand an established farm or ranch.
CarterIf you can’t secure ground to grow your crops and livestock, you’re kind of out of business. And being able to secure those, whether it be through long-term leases, much less being able to afford to purchase land, is a huge concern.
OtterbyCarter says this survey provides Farm Bureau an opportunity to address young farmers and ranchers’ needs through necessary grassroots feedback. In the survey, 69 percent of respondents said communicating with consumers is a formal part of their jobs. Carter says the importance of consumer communications and addressing consumer concerns can’t be stressed enough.
CarterPersonally, on our farm, we have the opportunity to communicate firsthand. We’re involved with agri-tourism. We invite the public out to the farm, and we get to address those concerns face-to-face. I can’t stress the need enough for our young producers to communicate their story to the consumers to help build a little bit more trust with what we do by sharing our stories and what we do.
OtterbyCarter says young farmers and ranchers sharing their stories with the public through use of social media platforms and personal outreach are steps in the right direction. Seanica Otterby, Washington.

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