The survey shows that America’s young farmers and ranchers are committed environmental stewards, with 72 percent saying that balancing environmental and economic concerns is important in their operations. The survey shows 58 percent use conservation tillage on their farms.
In addition, computers and the Internet are vital tools for the nation’s young farmers and ranchers, with 92 percent surveyed reporting using a computer in their farming operation. Nearly all of those surveyed, 98 percent, have access to the Internet. High-speed Internet is used by 74 percent of those surveyed, with 24 percent relying on a satellite connection and 2 percent turning to dialup.
The popular social media site, Facebook, is used by 76 percent of those surveyed who use the Internet. The most popular use of the Internet in the survey is to gather news and agricultural information, with 81 percent turning to it for that use.
Finally, the survey points out that 74 percent of YF&R members consider communicating with consumers a formal part of their jobs.
“More and more young farmers and ranchers know that we must reach out to our customers, and we are using social media and other 21st century tools to tell our story and teach consumers,” LaCross said. “This is a trend that has staying power.”
AFBF President Bob Stallman said the annual YF&R survey points out that the future of U.S. agriculture is in good hands.
“I know our young farmers and ranchers have the know-how and tenacity to ensure that the best days are ahead for our country and agriculture.” Stallman said. “They give us all hope for the future.”
The informal survey of young farmers and ranchers, ages 18-35, was conducted at AFBF’s 2011 YF&R Leadership Conference in Orlando, Fla., in February. The purpose of Farm Bureau’s YF&R program is to help younger Farm Bureau members learn more about agriculture, network with other farmers and become future leaders in agriculture and Farm Bureau.
Source: American Farm Bureau Federation