Agricultural Economics Department


Date of this Version


Document Type



Cornhusker Economics, University of Nebraska–Lincoln Extension, October 1, 2014


Copyright © 2014 University of Nebraska


According to the 2012 USDA Census of Agriculture, NASS, a 30-year trend of declining numbers of farmers under 35 years of age appears to be, at least temporarily, reversing. As Figure 1 shows, Nebraska’s principal farm/ranch operators in the age group under 35 grew by 1,394 – from a total of 3,353 in 2007 to 4,747 in 2012. The previous 20-year history indicated overall losses in the number of beginning farmers from 12,609 in 1987 to a low of 3,353 in 2007. Nebraska’s total number of farm/ranch operators in the state grew as well, moving from 47,712 in 2007 to 49,969 in 2012 also apparently reversing a long-term trend of fewer and fewer farm operators in Nebraska.