David Sparks Ph.d Creative Thinking
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Line on Agriculture
Date: April 13, 2017

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A recent Farm Bill Summit Panel discussed how to help bring the next generation back to the farm and one of the key speakers was Ryan Quarries the Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture. He was asked what could the farm bill or a state department of ag do to help young people get into farming. "Of course access to capital for new and beginning farmers has to be a priority. The new financial instruments that are available through FSA and I think FSA needs to play a greater role when it does come to succession planning. I saw a recent statistics saying that only one third of US farmers have a succession plan in place. There's a lot of land. We are about to enter into a 20 year period where we will have the greatest land transfer in our generation. There are a lot of people who want to farm that don't own it and there are a lot of people coming into agriculture. There is such a Renaissance type of attitude with some young millennial’s that want to get into agriculture but did not grow up on a farm. They are trying to get into creative land leases that may be a multi-year with an option to buy after 10. There needs to be that sort of support from policymakers. In Kentucky we recognize the lack of capital for beginning farmers so we actually took a part of our tobacco settlement money and placed it into what is now called the Kentucky Agricultural Finance Corporation and we actually have a $60 million bank that is run through the Department of Agriculture and half of our loan portfolio is dedicated to beginning farmers.

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