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Recent posts by Wyatt Fraas

For beginning farmers, opportunity may lie in being creative

This is a time of tremendous opportunity in farming and ranching for beginners graduating from college or looking to start a venture of their own. Alternative crops and high value markets offer profit potential and lower risk for new farmers.

If land ownership is the preferred route, funding will have to come from savings, bootstrapping, investors/partners or loans. There are no grants, or free money, for farm startup and operation.

Beginning Farmers: I want to start farming. Is it feasible?

I just graduated college and I want to start farming, is it feasible? What are my options?

This is a time of tremendous opportunity in farming and ranching. Commodity production (undifferentiated crops and livestock sold into “commodity markets”) has minimal profit margin, unpredictable price swings, and many risks for a small, uncapitalized, inexperienced farmer. That type of farming is best entered with substantial farming-family support.

Retiring Farmers: What makes a good successor?

Retirement is when the owner departs from labor and management of the farm business. Retirement may not mean moving away or giving up on mentoring the next generation, but it does entail leaving management decisions to someone else. It can be a gradual or sudden process. It may be driven by long-term goals, health issues or events outside your family.

Beginning farmer grows organic and sheep operation

Justin Doerr left the Army after serving overseas and knew he wanted to farm for his civilian career. He is big on planning, so he attended farm tours and webinars across three states to prepare for launching his farm business. He eased back into sheep production, using facilities his parents had vacated while Justin was in the service. Since his youth was spent following his father's direction on farm tasks rather than making his own farm decisions, Justin wanted to share the risk in his startup year of crop production.

Rural Rockstar: Linda Kleinschmit a sustainable agriculture hero

In acknowledging her decades of leadership and service to sustainable agriculture, USDA has recognized Nebraska farmer Linda Kleinschmit as a NCR-SARE Hero.

Linda is a former Center for Rural Affairs Advisory Board member. She and her husband Martin, a former Center staff member, farm 365 acres of organic crops and livestock near Hartington, Neb. 

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