Social Links Search




Aging Nebraska Farmers: The Challenge of Succession

Aging Nebraska Farmers: The Challenge of Succession

Nebraska's farming community is facing a significant challenge as its farmers grow older, with the average age of principal farm operators reaching 56.4 years. The concern is that there might not be a next generation to continue the family farming tradition, even as modern technologies reduce the need for extensive manpower.

This issue extends beyond farming, affecting transportation, processing, machinery, education, healthcare, and local businesses.

To ensure the future of rural Nebraska, it is crucial to attract younger farmers like Justin Taubenheim and his brother Tanner, who are part of the fourth generation involved in their family's purebred Gelbvieh beef cattle business.

However, there are obstacles to overcome. Start-up costs, such as equipment and bills for seed, feed, and fertilizer, pose significant challenges for young producers. Many of them must also rent land until they inherit it, lacking the initial capital required to own cattle or farmland.

The return of young farmers to rural areas is often delayed as they pursue higher education and work in other fields. However, some eventually come back, leveraging their experiences to contribute to the rural economy.

The availability of jobs in agriculture and construction plays a crucial role in attracting younger generations. Moreover, providing essential services like child care, community engagement, and accessible healthcare can incentivize young Nebraskans to settle and work in rural communities.

To ensure a prosperous future, rural Nebraska must address the need for dependable broadband internet, which is essential for agriculture and remote work. Additionally, access to affordable health insurance, often through a spouse's job, is crucial for farming families.

Ultimately, attracting and retaining young farmers relies on their love for the lifestyle and the industry's potential for growth and productivity. Efforts to promote the diverse range of agriculture-related careers, along with beginning farmer programs and incentives, can also help foster a new generation of rural Nebraskans dedicated to preserving the farming legacy.

Photo Credit: gettyimages-zoran-zeremski

Nebraska Cut Flower Farm Prepares for Summer Farmers’ Markets Nebraska Cut Flower Farm Prepares for Summer Farmers’ Markets
Scout Now for Potato Leafhoppers in Alfalfa Scout Now for Potato Leafhoppers in Alfalfa

Categories: Nebraska, Business, Equipment & Machinery, Rural Lifestyle

Subscribe to newsletters

Crop News

Rural Lifestyle News

Livestock News

General News

Government & Policy News

National News

Back To Top