In the US, farming was once considered a significant occupation. Statistics show that, in 2012, not more than 1% of the American population were professional farmers. Farmers of today face many challenges that the general public is oblivious to.
Most of the general public have an obsolete view when one thinks of a farm. They consider it a small parcel of land owned and run by family members, where cattle are raised, and crops are harvested. In reality, present-day farms must overhaul their operations to cater to the demands and stay competitively priced while adjusting to new technology.
Rural farming communities of today are expected to consider integrating modern technology into their farming industry.
As easy as it may sound, it is not. To make such a shift in rural areas is quite a challenge. The communications systems are not as up-to-date compared to urban areas. Combined, these factors make it difficult for the farming industry to make the switch and become accustomed to ever-changing technological trends.
Technology is also an opportunity in the farming industry. Research shows that the farmers who made the shift and involved modern technology in their business noticed an increase in their production process. It also had a substantial effect on the labor supply.
The Decline in Farming as a Profession
Over the years, the farming profession has witnessed a significant decline in the United States. Today, only a small fraction of Americans list farming as their primary occupation. The demographic landscape of American farmers has also shifted, with the majority of them now being over 55 years old.
Younger generations need to replenish this aging workforce, as many young adults do not view farming as an attractive or aspirational career path. This shift in occupational preference has raised concerns about the future of farming and the sustainability of the agriculture industry in the country.
Many farmers are held responsible for how the farming business affects the environment. These days, the emphasis is placed on conservation and sustainability. It has resulted in public protests against some farmers’ certain practices. These practices refer to the pollution of water, raising livestock, chemical pesticides, fertilizers, etc.
On the other hand, many farmers have changed their methods and practices to be more self-sustainable and environmentally friendly.
This is not the only environmental issue that farmers face in their industry. Climate and weather changes are also ecological issues with which farmers must deal. Severe droughts and intense storms have made the farming industry even more demanding and challenging.
Opportunities in the Farming Industry
Despite all of the challenges, there are still opportunities in the farming industry. The NSAC (National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition) works hard to provide farming opportunities to America’s independent family farmers. New federal programs and policies are coming out to support young adults in the farming industry.
Every few years or so, Congress reauthorizes the state farm bill in which legislative decisions about funding and policies provide opportunities for women, beginning, veteran, and minority farmers. The government also considers the funding and monetary aspect of supporting young adults entering the farming business. They will also support and fund any farmers involved in the yearly appropriations process and deliver guide program applications.
Every several years, as Congress prepares to reauthorize the federal farm bill, we inform legislative decisions regarding policies and funding that create opportunities and level the playing field for beginning, minority, veteran, and women farmers.
We also work each year to fight for critical funding to support the next generation of farmers in the annual appropriations process and routinely meet with and deliver recommendations to USDA to guide program implementation.
Agriculture is a growing and vibrant sector of our nation’s economy, yet farming has become an increasingly tricky occupation to enter and build into financially viable businesses. Limited access to land and markets, hyper land price inflation, high input costs, increasingly unpredictable and more extreme weather events, and a lack of sufficient support networks are just a few barriers agriculture entrepreneurs face.
And for new, minority, veteran, and women farmers, the path to a thriving farming career is fraught with even more significant challenges, such as struggling to find financing to purchase land, confronting historical racial and gender inequities, and transitioning back into civilian life after military service.About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual bookkeeping, providing service to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud platform where their QuickBooks™️ file, critical financial documents, and back-office tools are hosted in an efficient SSO environment. Complete Controller’s team of certified US-based accounting professionals provide bookkeeping, record storage, performance reporting, and controller services including training, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, process and controls advisement, and bill-pay. With flat-rate service plans, Complete Controller is the most cost-effective expert accounting solution for business, family-office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.