The Emerging Farmers project is a proactive approach to address the need to reach out to emerging farmers and future landowners. We define an emerging farmer as someone with ties to agricultural land who would like to return to the farm as an operator or have a voice in its management.
A goal of this innovative project is to help address a variety of social factors influencing the adoption of conservation practices and assist emerging farmers in the creation of a sustainable business plan for their operation. According to the USDA-National Agricultural Statistics Service’s 2014 Tenure, Ownership and Transition of Agricultural Land (TOTAL) Survey, in Iowa:
- 1/2 of the land is rented or leased
- Owner/operators make up 19.4% of landowners – 40% of landowners have never farmed before
- Forty percent of agricultural land is owned by women, with 33% by women over age 65
- By 2019, ~9% of all the agricultural land will be transferring ownership and ~9% put into a will
This large transference of land and significant demographic shift in Iowa’s agricultural land management and ownership calls for new approaches to conservation outreach and education.
Partners Include: Iowa Learning Farms, Seth Watkins, Nathan Anderson, Iowa Beef Center, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Community and Economic Development, Beginning Farmer Center and Practical Farmers of Iowa.
Two-Day Emerging Farmers Forum
Application Deadline: All applicants will be notified of their application status by June 1, 2018.