Poll Finds Farm Succession, Young Farmer Programs Growing in Importance

Young farmers: Why do you farm?

By Jeff Caldwell; Agriculture.com Multimedia Editor

It’s no secret that the average farmer is getting up in years. As the farming population ages, the issue of farm succession is becoming a bigger concern for the younger generation making its mark on the agriculture industry, a recent poll finds.

The latest Farm and Rural Life Poll, conducted annually by Extension sociologists at Iowa State University, indicates concerns are growing surrounding the passage of farms to the next generation. In the 2008 poll, 42% of farmers responding said they were planning on retiring in the next 5 years, and among those, 56% said they had identified a successor, according to J. Gordon Arbuckle, Jr., leader of a team of ISU Extension sociologists administering the poll.

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