Young Farmers

Goals

To help with background data on a potential new business opportunity, understand how farmers under 40 in the U.S. are disrupting the industry; how their values, concerns, wants, and practices differ from older farmers; and how young soybean farmers, in particular, are impacting the industry.

Early Findings

  • The U.S. Census of Agriculture defines young producers as those under the age of 35. Based on the 2017 census, there were 321,261 young producers, which is 8% of the total U.S. producers.
  • Of those producers 307,150, or 95.6% (307150/321261*100) are white, and 205,110 (205110/321261*100=63.8%) are male. This data is provided to explain the demographic that is being examined.
  • Additionally, only 208,000 of these producers are principal producers, defined as being a principal operator of the farm.
  • The Southeastern African American Farmers’ Organic Network (SAAFON) is a network of black farmers in the southeastern United States that are committed to sustainable farming.
  • The number of young farmers is not growing fast enough to replace the older generation of farmers that will be retiring. This could partially be because it is difficult to make it as a small farm due to the industrial food system now in place.
  • A 2019 survey of young farmers in Pennsylvania found that some key challenges facing the group are land access, lack of training opportunities, and lack of access to business services such as state and federal programs, marketing help, and capital access.
  • Some young farmers in Pennsylvania are embracing organic farming and carbon farming. One farmer, named Teddy Moynihan, has found that the older farmers are interested in what he is doing. However, it is important to note that this is only a single farmer and does not indicate this is a widespread practice.


Proprietary Research

  • In addition to this public search, we scanned our proprietary research database of over 1 million sources and were unable to find any specific research reports that address your goals.

Proposed next steps:

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