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New Generation of Farming

New Generation of Farming

In February, the latest US Ag Census was released and it confirmed what all of us in the industry have been aware of for years. The average age of farmers has continued its upward trend. From 2012 to 2017 the average age increased from 56.3 years old to 57.5 years old. In 2022, it climbed to 58.1 years old. Recognizing this, it has never been more important to encourage and support young people starting their own operation. 

In Lake Providence, LA, Nolan Parker and Matt Brown are doing just that. Their partnership, aptly named New Generation Farms, is the contradiction to that trend. These lifelong friends started their partnership in 2022 and are embracing the challenges that farming your own operation presents. 

“That first crop was really exciting. Just putting that first seed in the ground and being at risk on your own operation for the first time was really fun and exciting. We learned a lot, obviously. Whether it was labor, equipment, planting, harvesting, different practices, you know it’s all going to take a minute to come together. But I think we’ve done well with adapting to the changes and challenges that we face throughout the year,” says Parker. The fast pace of running your own operation is one of those challenges. 

“In a day’s time in farming world, you never know what’s going to happen. Going to get parts here, hauling seed over here, delivering fertilizer back there. It’s 2 o’clock now and I feel like I just started the day. It moves fast. No day is ever the same,” says Brown. 

New Generation Farms isn’t without guidance. Nolan’s father, Tap Parker, is a long-time farmer who still farms nearby. He is also a Director for First South Farm Credit. He knows what it takes to start from scratch. “Dad also encouraged us. He encouraged me to come back, create my own partnership, take my own risk, to know what the experience is like to take out your own crop loan. Putting your money on the line like that and taking a risk instead of coming back to the same operation,” Nolan said. 

The partners also understand the importance of establishing a relationship with the right lender. 

“With the cost of everything going up, they’re putting faith in you that they know they’re going to get paid back. We have an extremely good relationship with our lending officer. It’s great,” said Brown.

See how First South Farm Credit can help you with your next farming venture.

 Learn More About New Generation Farm Loans

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