Young Farmers, Ranchers Express More Optimism
Washington--The latest survey of participants in the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Young Farmers & Ranchers 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.
This is the highest optimism level ever in AFBF’s annual YF&R survey, which was initiated in 1993. Last year, 80 percent of those surveyed said they were more optimistic about farming than they were five years ago. The previous high was in 2008, when 82 percent said they were more optimistic.
“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 and a Cedar, Mich., cherry, plum and apple producer. “Whether you produce tree fruit or beef cattle, you have to be an optimist to succeed in farming and ranching these days.”
Despite the high level of optimism, the young farm and ranch leaders expressed concerns. The No. 1 concern was 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 No. 1 concern.