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November 29, 2017

Growing the Latest Crops: Millennial Farmers

Read how millennial farmers are changing the face of agriculture.

Today’s consumer wants to know where their food is coming from, and they would rather get their food from a small, family farm than a large “factory” farm. Farmers are proud of being the third or fourth generation to work the land, but the data shows that the average age of farmers is getting older and older, especially when looking at principal operators. However, those family farms often require multiple generations to keep them running so we can’t discount the impact of millennial farmers. Millennial farmers are those who are 34 and under, and they are changing the face of agriculture, for good. Explore millennial farmers in agriculture below, and see why, despite the bad press millennials receive, they have the traits of great farmers.

Millennial Farmers in Agriculture

According to the latest statistics taken from the 2012 Ag Census and shared by the American Farm Bureau Federation, the U.S.’s 2.1 million farms are worked by 3.2 million farmers. Millennial farmers make up 8 percent, or 257,454, of those farmers. Similarly, over 20 percent of all farmers are beginning farmers, meaning they have been in business less than 10 years.

There’s no denying that the future of agriculture needs a new crop of people choosing it as a profession and the millennial generation is the largest generation yet. According to data on the Motley Fool, the millennial generation is 92 million strong, making up almost half of the U.S. workforce. They also have character traits that make them the perfect fit.

Traits of Millennial Farmers

Millennial farmers have a slew of characteristics that help them farm successfully, especially when it comes to modern farming techniques. For one, they are a connected group. According to consumer data collected by, millennials own an average of 7.7 Internet-connected devices and use 3.3 of those devices daily. That means millennial farmers are adept at using the agri technology that has been shown to have a real impact on the success of farming, such as hyper-local weather apps, precision farming technology, sensors and real-time analysis, and more.

Millennial workers are also hard workers, despite the stereotypes that they are the opposite. According to data on the Motley Fool, 48% of millennials expect to work at least part-time in retirement. Millennial farmers are willing to do the hard work that farming requires, whether it means working a job off the farm as well or working longer than the standard eight hour day.

Two pay-offs millennials likely see in farming are, first, the opportunity for flexibility in the work schedule. According to the data cited above, 82 percent of millennials maintained they would prefer a flexible work environment, such as working from home. It doesn’t get much closer to home than the family farm, does it? Secondly, millennials value experiences over material goods, which fits right in with the fact that farmers are in ag not for the money but because they love what they do. For millennials, loving what you do has great value, and they find that value, as we all do, working in the ag industry.

If you’d like to discover how our custom loans can help grow the agribusinesses of any generation, contact us to speak with a knowledgeable team member today!

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