BROOKINGS, S.D. - According to the USDA 2017 Census of Agriculture, one in four producers is a beginning farmer with 10 or fewer years of experience. New producers often tend to smaller than average farms in both acres and value of production, because their challenge is often finding land in the first place, says Heather Gessner, SDSU Extension Livestock Business Management Field Specialist.
"Whether renting or purchasing, securing access to farmland continues to be a major barrier for newcomers and is preventing a generation of growers and producers from entering the industry.”
Following a widely-attended fall workshop series on these issues, Gessner is planning a second round in 2021 for individuals with some farming or ranching experience who are actively looking for land. The eight-week Farmland for the Next Generation will kick off January 5 and is supported by a grant from the USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program.
Topics covered will include an introduction to land tenure, financial readiness, land tenure options, finding land, land assessment, leasing land, purchasing land and succession planning. The workshop series will be held in an interactive webinar format that includes discussions, worksheets and ongoing evaluation of each participant's current situation. Gessner says it is essential participants are committed to following the meeting times and deadlines for each session.
“This program is hands-on so participants will need to go out and apply what they learn during these sessions and then report back throughout the series," Gessner says.
Gessner was one of the 25 experienced agricultural educators and service providers across the country in the inaugural class of Land Access Trainers. Gessner is presenting the series as components of the American Farmland Trust's Farmland for the Next Generation project.
The webinars will be held from 7-9 p.m. CST on January 5, 12, 19 and 26; and February 2,9, 16 and 23.
Registration is $50 for two individuals. Deadline to register is January 1. To register, please visit the SDSU Extension Events page.
For more information, contact Heather Gessner, SDSU Extension Livestock Business Management Field Specialist
About American Farmland Trust
American Farmland Trust is the only national conservation organization dedicated to protecting farmland, promoting sound farming practices, and keeping farmers on the land. Learn more at the Farmland website.
About SDSU Extension
SDSU Extension is the outreach arm of South Dakota State University, the state’s Land Grant university. Since 1881, SDSU Extension has provided research-based information and educational programming to improve the lives and livelihoods of South Dakotans.