AFBF Young Farmer & Rancher 2014 Survey
adequate land to grow crops and raise livestock was the top
challenge identified again this year in the American Farm Bureau
Federation's annual outlook survey of participants in the Young
Farmers & Ranchers program. That challenge was identified by 22
percent of respondents, followed by economic challenges,
particularly profitability, which was identified by 15 percent of
issues ranked as top concerns by young farmers and ranchers
included burdensome government regulations and red tape, 12
percent; availability of farm labor and related regulations, 9
percent; water availability and urbanization of farm land, 7
percent each; and health care availability and cost, 6
annual YF&R survey revealed that 91 percent of those surveyed
are more optimistic about farming and ranching than they were five
years ago. Last year, 90 percent of those surveyed said they were
more optimistic about farming compared to five years ago.
survey also shows 93 percent of the nation's young farmers and
ranchers say they are better off than they were five years ago.
Last year, 83 percent reported being better off.
91 percent considered themselves lifetime farmers, while 88 percent
would like to see their children follow in their footsteps. The
informal survey reveals that 87 percent believe their children will
be able to follow in their footsteps.
majority of those surveyed-69 percent-consider
communicating with consumers a formal part of their jobs.
Many use social media platforms as a tool to accomplish this. The
popular social media site Facebook is
used by 74 percent of those surveyed. Twenty-two percent of
respondents said they use the social networking site Twitter, 16
percent have a farm blog or webpage and 13 percent use YouTube to
post videos of their farms and ranches.
Internet is used by 71 percent of those surveyed, with 28 percent
relying on a satellite connection and fewer than 2 percent turning
New this year,
the young farmers and ranchers were asked about their rural
entrepreneurship efforts, with 40 percent reporting they had
started a new business in the last three years or plan to start one
in the near future.
also shows that America's young farmers and ranchers are committed
environmental caretakers, with 55 percent using conservation
tillage to protect soil and reduce erosion on their farms.
informal survey of young farmers and ranchers, ages 18-35, was
conducted at AFBF's 2014 YF&R Leadership Conference in Virginia
Beach, Va., in February.