Young Farmers Voice Their Concerns About an Uncertain Future

SIOUX FALLS, SD— With a farming season that has seen plant dates pushed back and bare fields. Young farmers have noticed the agriculture landscape change.

“Very volatile market right now and something we all have to be concerned about. But we all have to be optimistic at the same time,” said John Eilertson, SDSU junior.

That optimism was on full display the last day of the Governor’s Agriculture Summit, as SDSU Senior John Eilertson and three of his fellow rising farmers took the stage with Governor Kristi Noem to voice their concerns.

“I really want to convey that the next generation is here and we’re here to learn. I think the older generation has an opportunity to mentor us,” said Eilertson.

According to the South Dakota Department of Agriculture, the average age of a South Dakota farmer is 55 years old.

So, the future farmers could be on deck immediately.

“The next generation is who’s going to be running the businesses, farms, and ranches in South Dakota soon. So, we need to be prepared for that and listening to that,” said Noem.

Governor Noem wanted to use the panel as a call to action for young farmers to continue the strong farming culture in South Dakota.

“Our rural way of life is special. It leads to better support, more success, and obviously less crime and struggle; we see that in South Dakota. But it can also be an example to be people of what priorities are,” said Noem.

The young farmers understand that responsibility.

“We are the next generation. There is going to be another generation after us. So, we just have to make sure that we continue to hold on to making it breaking even at least and continuing to push forward,” said Eilertson.

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