By Jake Stukenberg, NFU Intern
Nationwide, farmers are beginning to age out and retire from their service to produce. Are young people turning to farming to as the established generation steps back? According to the 2012 Census of Agriculture, only 5.1 percent of the 2.1 million principal owner farmers are younger than 35. This is likely not do to a lack of interest – aspiring farmers face many barriers to entry. One of the obstacles that many young farmers face when starting up is finding land that is appropriate for agricultural uses.
One organization that wants to help remove that obstacle is Colorado Land Link, a program through the Colorado Guidestone organization that helps young and beginning farmers and ranchers secure opportunities to help launch their own farm businesses. This program connects land-seekers and landowners so that they may work together to share the productive land with the farmers of tomorrow and provide critical resources for those new farmers.
Getting matched with a retiring farmer or selling landowner is one of the first major steps that young farmers need to start their own operation, so this resource is perfect for those struggling to find a suitable place to settle down and farm.
To start the process, users can follow this link above to fill out the land-seeker application. From there, the program will match applicants with land opportunities within different areas of the state.
If there are any other programs that your respective state offers regarding land acquisitions or match-up programs for retiring farmers and young farmers, leave a comment in the section below.
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So glad to see this program exists, as a non-farmer I’ve always thought this is the way to go! I’d like to get the word out about this program but see no links to social media specifically about this program. Hope your advertising with organic groups as I’m sure that is the type of farming many young people wish to do. The soil regenerative movement is taking off now too. Hoping your program recommends that this transition program allows for older farmers to stay and live on the land through retirement in exchange for their expertise as the young farmers transition to ownership. We need as many small farmers as possible, it’s big ag farming principles that is destroying our top soil. Thanks!
Regarding my previous and first time post, I discovered your website through the common dreams.org article today, August 13, which mentions the National Farmers Union. Thought you would like to know. The title of the article at commondreams.org is : “Farmers Hit Back as USDA Chief Sonny Purdue Mocks….” Thanks!