April 2015 Archive

A Bit Further Down the Yellow Brick Road
April 28, 2015
No farm is a storybook movie set with cowardly lions, brainless scarecrows, and heartless tin men, but the real world of courage, cleverness, and commitment are there for all to see. Read More >


Things to Consider Before You Worry Too Much About the Aging Farmer
April 21, 2015
Yes, farmers are getting older. The average age of farm principal operators went from 57.1 years old in 2007 to 58.3 years old in 2012. This increase has been frequently talked about since the release of the 2012 Ag Census data and there has been a wide range of reactions. Given that everyone is using the same data sources to examine this issue, the difference in opinion is due to how people are interpreting the data. Read More >


Before the Hearing
April 3, 2015
Getting ready for testifying in front of Congress is a group exercise, with lots of input and support from those who know the field, the players, and the game at hand that day. But with all that political expertise, what makes an Ag Committee hearing important is that real people, real farmers like Joanna take the time to come talk about what they know from their own experience. Read More >


Race and Ethnicity with Specificty
April 2, 2015
Over the past three Censuses we have seen the number of Hispanic and Minority farms increase. As of the 2012 Ag Census there was a 10% increase in the number of Minority farmers and a 20% increase in the Hispanic farmers involved in day to day operations of farms across the country. Read More >


Following the Yellow Brick Road
April 1, 2015
The lifestyle of farmers is a source of interest to the general public that borders on envy -- envy for a life-path driven by passionate commitment to nurturing livestock, crops, and family. Read More >


About Gary Matteson
Gary Matteson has more than 30 years of experience in farming, small business, and agriculture-related organizations. He leads the Farm Credit program serving young, beginning and small farmers and ranchers at the Farm Credit Council, the System's national trade organization. Mr. Matteson coordinates efforts within Farm Credit's nationwide network and among many national agricultural organizations to ensure that beginning farmers have opportunities for success. The Farm Credit System provides beginning farmers loan assistance, mentoring and business planning support. Mr. Matteson also helps Farm Credit build diversity in farming by encouraging agricultural operations that bring a focus to locally grown foods in or near urban areas. He has researched, designed curricula, and taught financial and business planning skills for more than ten years to thousands of beginning farmers in conferences, seminars, webinars, and college classrooms. Mr. Matteson specializes in making basic business concepts approachable and relevant to beginning farmers.