The latest survey of participants in the American Farm Bureau Federation's (AFBF) Young Farmers and Ranchers (YF&R) program shows that America's young farmers and ranchers are an optimistic lot. Results of the 19th annual YF&R survey reveal that 87 percent of those surveyed are more optimistic about farming and ranching than they were five years ago.
"Farming and ranching is a tough but rewarding way of life. One trait all farmers and ranchers share is optimism and hope for the future, and that's what this survey shows," said Ben LaCross, YF&R chairman. "Whether you produce tree fruit or beef cattle, you have to be an optimist to succeed in farming and ranching these days."
The 2011 survey also shows nearly 90 percent of the nation's young farmers and ranchers say they are better off than they were five years ago. Last year, 82 percent reported being better off than they were five years ago.
Nearly 94 percent considered themselves lifetime farmers, while 96 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.
Despite the high level of optimism, the young farm and ranch leaders express concerns. The number one concern is economic challenges, with 22 percent ranking profitability as their top concern. Government regulations were also a top concern of many of those surveyed, with 17 percent ranking that as their top concern. Nearly 10 percent ranked tax burdens as their number one concern.
Finally, the survey points out that 74 percent of YF&R members consider communicating with consumers a formal part of their jobs.
Reprinted in part from Drovers CattleNetwork.com