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Internet-connected mobile devices and various social media platforms help today's young farming generation connect with consumers.

FEATURED NEWS STORY

Young Farmers Remain Optimistic Despite Adequate Land Concerns

The American Farm Bureau Federation’s 23rd Annual Young Farmers and Ranchers survey revealed that 84 percent of respondents are more optimistic about the industry than they were five years ago despite the current challenges they face.

Additionally, about 92 percent also said that they are better off than they were five years ago, further validating the optimism among the young farmer demographic.

“I am confident that the optimism and dedication of our young farmers and ranchers will ensure that a bright future lies ahead for our country and agriculture,” said Bob Stallman, president of the AFBF. “They are the hope for the future of American agriculture and food production.”

The online survey was conducted in February, and participating farmers ranged in age between 18 and 35. About 91 percent of the respondents considered themselves to be lifetime farmers, and 87 percent said that they would like to see their children follow in their footsteps.

Some of the most common challenges that young farmers have faced thus far include finding secure land to grow crops (29 percent) and government regulations (13 percent). However, this demographic is reaping the benefits of new technology and connectivity.

Approximately 19 percent of respondents said that they had some type of farm blog or website. About 74 percent use Facebook, and it is helping them communicate with consumers.

“Use of social media platforms to interact with consumers – our customers – continues to grow and will help young farmers be successful,” said Jon Hegeman, AFBF’s national YF&R committee chairman.

Nearly 74 percent of farmers said they have high speed Internet, and 23 percent claim that they can go online with a satellite connection.

Family-owned farms remain the backbone of American agriculture and this trend is unlikely to slow down as the young farming generation remains optimistic about the future.