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Thesis (M.S.)—University of Nebraska—Lincoln, 1973. Department of Agricultural Economics.


Copyright 1973, the author. Used by permission.


It has been commonly accepted that fewer young men are moving into farm employment.Statistics from the 1969 Census of Agriculture confirms this. The average age of the farm operator has increased from 48.2 to 49.3 years, while the percentage of farmers age 55 or older has grown from 33.3 percent in 1959 to 37.6 percent in 1969.During this same period, the percentage of operators age 34 or younger dropped from 18.6 percent to 15.2 percent with operators age 24 or younger representing only 3.0 percent of the total farm operators in 1969.It becomes apparent that if these trends continue there could be a shortage of farm operators within the next 10 to 20 years.Even more apparent is that the operators age 55 or older will have possibly retired or expired ten years from now, creating a substantial amount of farm-ownership transfers.

There has been concern with the fact that few young people return to the farm after they have completed their education or training. Although this thesis will not attempt to deal with the specific problem of whether young people should return to the farm or not, it is concerned with answering the question of how are the ones who do return getting started in farming.

The specific objectives are to:

1.Determine the credit policies of lending institutions with respect to beginning farmers.

2.Determine the general characteristics of a successful starting farmer and the factors most closely associated with an increase in the net worth of the farmer.

Advisor:Glenn A. Helmers