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Maura Bennett Young Farmers Survey
by Maura Bennett, click here for bio

Program: Colorado Ag Today
Date: December 28, 2017

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As congressional leaders continue debating the America’s new Farm Bill, one thing in emerging. Young farmers are an optimistic bunch.

According to the recently released 2017 National Young Farmer Survey, America’s new generation of young farmers expect to overcome major barriers.

Lindsey Lusher Shute, Executive Director of the National Young Farmers Coalition. She testified earlier this year before the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, & Forestry.

“Young Farmers and ranchers struggle with finding farm land manageing, student loans and farm access. Farmland prices have gone up by over 150 percent.”

Lusher Shute advised the committee that serving young farmers will require new ways of doing things.

“FSA microloans are essential.”

Farm Safety Net programs are critical and new programs like Whole Farm Revenue Protection should be fully supported.

The survey collected data from more than 35-hundred current, former, and aspiring farmers under 40. The top challenge cited by young farmers is land access, particularly finding and affording land on a farm income. It is also the main reason why farmers quit farming and why aspiring farmers haven’t yet started.

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