The past five weeks have been a whirlwind for me as I have traveled the country speaking to various agriculture groups on a wide range of topics - the power of social media; the threat of special interest groups and sensational journalism; the importance of encouraging young people to stay in production agriculture and insights on the future of the beef cattle industry. In the last five weeks, I have flown four times, spent 15 nights in hotels and presented several keynotes and workshops along the way. The BEEF Daily Blog has been an accidental launching pad for a speaking career, and I appreciate all of those who read the blog and extend invitations for me to be a part of their events. I'm happy to take advantage of the opportunity to travel, network and learn from meetings; however, I know that my heart is really in production agriculture, and eventually I'm going to need to buckle down and accomplish my goals in that area.
In an effort to be as prepared as possible as I make plans for the future and develop a business model for my future cattle operation, I have been adamant about asking producers, both seasoned veterans and fresh faces, for advice in being successful in beef cattle production at each meeting I attend. I understand that 2/3 of family farms don't make it past the second generation, and I'm aware of the fact that 70% of farm land will change hands in the next 10 years. It's certainly a volatile time to get in the beef cattle business, and that's why I pose this single question to the many farmers and ranchers I have met during my travels: What advice do you have for young people in agriculture?
I'm happy to be home for the next two weeks, but I don't want to let the conversation die while I'm at the ranch helping with calving season. So, today, I would like to ask the same question to all of you, What is the secret to being successful, sustainable and profitable in agriculture production? Your advice will not only help me, but it will also help thousands of others whom tune into this blog on a daily basis. Leave your thoughts, opinions and advice in the comments section below; I look forward to considering your pointers. Thanks for your participation and support.
BEEF Daily Quick Fact: There are twice as many farmers over the age of 65 as under the age of 35. And, did you know that half of agricultural land is owned by folks older than 75? (Source: BEEF, Time to Talk, by Alaina Burt)