The average age of the American farmer is on the rise, with fewer young people entering the profession. Farmers over 65 are nearly six times as many as those under 34, with the average age being 58. This has led to a genuine fear that there soon won’t be enough farmers. With the demand for younger farmers on the rise, starting a farm with the help of a USDA loan may be a viable option for those individuals looking for a new career path.
So What’s Going On?
The problems have compounded over the years. One of the main issues is that given the high profit margins being experienced has delayed turnover to younger generations of family farms. While there are agricultural programs available, few young people show interest. In fact, despite incentives and USDA loans, the younger generation has kept its distance from the activity. A couple of things deterring young people include:
- Price of Doing Business
- Not an Easy Life
- Government Regulations
Price of Doing Business
This includes the high barrier to entry unless the business is inherited. Starting a new farm requires purchasing land and equipment and spending money on customer acquisition. Programs such as USDA loans help but awareness and commitments are harder to come by.
Not an Easy Life
Running a farm is difficult and is the reason millions of farms have closed since the 1930s. Farmers must deal with ever-present uncertainty with weather patterns, crop yield, etc. making the job stressful. Additionally, competition between farms is fierce as technology continues to improve efficiency. Fewer farms ultimately mean fewer opportunities, with agricultural jobs accounting for less than 15 percent of all jobs created in the US.
Farmers must also deal with prohibitive governmental regulations as the state and federal governments try to keep food supplies safe. This can restrict what can be grown, how much, and specific farming techniques to be used.
As an expert in the farming industry, AgAmerica can answer your questions on starting your own farm to take advantage of the opportunity a shortage of farmers presents. Get in touch with us today to learn more about USDA loans and other financing options available to help you get started.