An Investigate Midwest review of USDA data shows that the overwhelming majority of food producers in the U.S. are not young or diverse.
Young producers, farmers and ranchers who are 35 and younger represented 9% of all American producers in 2017, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Nearly all, 96%, of the young producers were white. This left 14,111 young producers of color in the U.S. Socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers, those who have experienced racial or ethnic prejudice, have additional funding opportunities through the USDA’s 2501 program.
About 80% of the young producers started farming in the last 10 years and about 50% started in the last five years. Most young producers reported a primary occupation that was not farming in 2017. The USDA’s Farm Service Agency offers support to beginning farmers and ranchers through direct and guaranteed loan programs.