Opportunities to support beginning farmers and ranchers in the 2023 Farm Bill

Becca B.R. Jablonski, Nigel Key, Joleen Hadrich, Allie Bauman, Sarah Campbell, Dawn Thilmany, Martha Sullins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Beginning farmers and ranchers represent an important segment of U.S. agriculture, yet they face financial challenges relative to more established operations. This article provides an overview of emerging research on the financial performance of beginning farm and ranch operations, with a lens toward implications for the 2023 Farm Bill. First, we use U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Resource Management Survey data to explore descriptive statistics relative to beginning farm and ranch usage of: local food markets, Federal crop insurance, and financing mechanisms. Subsequently, we leverage a farm-level panel dataset from the USDA Census of Agriculture and regression analysis to examine the relationship between key financial metrics and beginning farmer success. Results show: (a) beginning farm performance over time is associated with both increases in scale and productivity, as well as participation in agricultural programs, (b) access to credit is important, and that being credit constrained lowers the probability of survival, growth, and success for beginning operations, and (c) beginning operations are significantly less likely to use Federal crop insurance compared to established operations across all scales.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1177-1194
Number of pages18
JournalApplied Economic Perspectives and Policy
Volume44
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This material is based upon research supported in part by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture, and the USDA Economic Research Service. The authors have no financial interest or benefit from the direct application of this research. The funders played no role in the decision to submit the paper for presentation. The findings and conclusions in this presentation are those of the authors and should not be construed to represent any official USDA or U.S. Government determination or policy. 1

Funding Information:
This material is based upon research supported in part by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture, and the USDA Economic Research Service. The authors have no financial interest or benefit from the direct application of this research. The funders played no role in the decision to submit the paper for presentation. The findings and conclusions in this presentation are those of the authors and should not be construed to represent any official USDA or U.S. Government determination or policy.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors. Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of Agricultural & Applied Economics Association.

Keywords

  • Farm Bill
  • beginning farmer
  • credit
  • direct market
  • insurance
  • local food

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