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How far would you go for land?
Justin Hagedorn, a beginning farmer from Flandreau, South Dakota, finds himself in a situation many have faced before: traveling long distances to rent farmland. The issue of land acquisition is one of the top challenges young and beginning farmers face today, and the trouble of finding land close by just furthers the headache. Hagedorn recently posed a question to the Farmers For The Future network.
“My grandma asked me if I would like to rent her quarter from her, but it's about 25 miles from our farm. I would love to get it, as it would get my feet in the door and help some of the older farmers from back home recognize me as a fellow producer. The timing would be right, too. I'll be graduating from South Dakota State with an AST major this coming spring. My question is, is it worth the road time or would I be better off hoping/praying/waiting something comes up closer to home?” he asks.
The outpour of response was overwhelmingly positive, with many network members urging him to take the land.
“Definitely do it,” posts Ray Hewitt. “I am renting a farm 25 miles one way, and it can be trying at times. But you have to jump into farming at some point.”
“I'm over 45 miles spread. In my neck of the woods, you take what you can get. You might never have the opportunity again,” posts pooboynotiller.
“I'm over 45 miles spread. In my neck of the woods, you take what you can get. You might never have the opportunity again”. – Pooboynotiller
“If you want your foot in the door and get the older farmers to recognize you, you need to take it and show them how you farm,” posts Drew Nelson. “When you do that, you have a better chance of getting their land than hoping and praying.”
Network members chimed in on logistics, too. Hagedorn noted that he would plan on growing both corn and soybeans on the land, to which Hewitt advised, “That far away, I think I would consider putting it all to one crop. In the middle of harvest when you are busy, it sucks having to run that far twice.”
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Become a Farmers For The Future network member to learn more about other young and beginning farmers. Join the discussion at www.farmersforthefuture.com.