High Plains Public Radio: Older Farmers Struggling In Silence


My google search picked up this article this morning. It used material from yesterday’s Politico article I was quoted in on the same topic. Under the best of circumstances, intergenerational transfer of assets for agriculture is a difficult handoff. When retiring farmers and landowners work with either family members or beginning farmers, it is difficult to arrive at a meeting place that treats both parties fairly. When the business that is being transferred is not profitable and/or not cash flowing, the transfer becomes much more difficult for both parties. It took some explaining to get the Politico reporter to understand the hand in glove relationship between beginning farmers and retiring farmers. When mom and dad are making money, they can afford to be more generous. When mom and dad are struggling financially, they need full value out of their assets as they struggle to repay farm operating, machinery, and land loans, all with an eye to the take of the tax man.

All the best,

John K. Hansen, President

Nebraska Farmers Union

1305 Plum Street, Lincoln, NE 68502

402-476-8815 Office 402-476-8859 Fax

402-476-8608 Home 402-580-8815 Cell



High Plains Public Radio

Morning Edition

Older Farmers Struggling In Silence





There’s an eerie silence among aging farmers but that doesn’t mean they aren’t struggling.

As Politico reports, in recent months, lawmakers introduced legislation to make sure young farmers have their voices heard in the next farm bill.

But a report released last year by the National Young Farmers Coalition showed that farmers aged 65 and older outnumber farmers aged 35 and under by 6 to 1 and John K. Hansen, president of the Nebraska Farmers Union, says that although aging farmers may be less vocal about how much they are suffering, lawmakers should not assume that they don’t need any assistance, as well.

“The silence should not be taken to mean things are OK. It means a lot of folks have given up on waiting for remedy,” Hansen said, adding that the Nebraska Rural Response Hotline has fielded more calls from farmers facing financial struggles than any other time since it launched in 1984.

Hansen said many of those same farmers have lost faith that Congress is going to do anything.