FROM THE NATIONAL YOUNG FARMERS COALITION
In 2017, the National Young Farmers Coalition (Young Farmers) surveyed more than 3,500 young farmers and ranchers across the country and found that land access was their number one challenge, regardless of geography or whether they had grown up on a farm.
Those surveyed reported that they struggled to identify land to buy or rent that was affordable on a farming income, that had the appropriate resources for their operations, and that had housing opportunities. Of the respondents who cited land access as a challenge, 28 percent felt insecure, worrying that they could soon lose their land.
Most farmers require access to credit when buying farmland, or even when starting a business on leased land. However, credit is hard to secure with a nascent business. This “chicken-and-egg conundrum” is especially challenging for the 75 percent of young farmers who are also first-generation farmers working to construct their businesses from the ground up.
In order to address the challenge, the Young Farmers partnered with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to create the Finding Farmland Course and Calculator, which are available in both English and Spanish.