Farmer Age Issues
With Farm and ranch report, I'm Rick Worthington. Over a third of all farmers are reaching retirement age and that puts the future of food in the hands of the next generation of farmers. But creating a successful agricultural operation can be an uphill battle. The 2014 National Young Farmers Survey found the biggest barriers that young farmers face include land access, challenges and a lack of capital.
As the co-owner of a certified organic berry farm, Rachel t-s understands the massive expenses beginning farmers face and everything from the market set up to the cost of cultivating, establishing new land, mechanical implements and tractors and tools and things like that. It's a lot of money and then the actual mortgage or rent on land on top of that.
Taste also says it's incredibly important that those new to farming get the support they need to build a sustainable operation and believes the future of our food system is at stake.
We still all need to eat every day and we need to eat healthy growth, which come from small Bustamonte producers. And so we need to find ways to does. Those of us who want to farm land access to that land so that the whole community can benefit from fresh foods.
She says educational programs are a key tool in helping young farmers navigate all these challenges and recommends heartland farm beginnings and says those programs have seen great success in dozens of states.