Out with the Old, in with the Millennials? Research on the Young Farmer

You can barely make it through a day without hearing about how millennials are taking over the workforce. But are they also taking over the farm? We’re not talking about their apartment’s community garden where they grow a few tomatoes. We’re talking about the hundreds or thousands of acre farms that help produce the world’s food. In the notoriously tough business, millennials don’t seem to be heading back to the farm as quickly as their parent’s generation.lf_millennial_facebook_be883e954349f

More than half of agricultural producers are over 60 years old, with an average age of 58. The average age continues to increase each year. At the same time, there are fewer farms than ever before. The millennial generation is poised to take over farming operations soon and help feed the constantly increasing population of the world – but do they want to?

The future of U.S. agriculture depends on the ability of new generations to establish successful farms and ranches to help feel the world. Lessing-Flynn partnered with Millennium Research to identify these young farmers and understand their motivations. Our qualitative and quantitative research sought to answer the questions of:

  1. Who are the young farmers that will take over the most efficient food production system in the world?
    Hint: They have a passion for agriculture, but are having a tough time making it a career.
  2. How are they different than the generation that came before them?
    Hint: They’re not quite as loyal as their parents, but they are definitely tech savvy.
  3. What influences their decisions and values?
    Hint: Show them the numbers. They want to make the smartest decision for their operation.
  4. What are the best ways to reach them with your message?
    Hint: They’re most comfortable researching on the internet, but don’t forget to build a relationship with them.
  5. What does the future of American agriculture look like?
    Hint: Get ready for some change – these young farmers aren’t afraid of it.

Stay tuned for the answers as we share our results over the next few months on our blog and at LessingFlynn.com/Millennial-Research. If you’d like to request a presentation of the entire research study, contact us here.