Why is it harder to rent land today?
As I talk to growers throughout the country, an overwhelming theme is this: what a difference it is today for their kids trying to find ground than it was when they started out. Why is this? Many of these younger growers are very educated. They have learned the necessary best practices from their dads and peer groups they are involved in.
It is safe to say that if you are farming today, you have done a lot of things right in order to thrive and remain in business. So why is it different today from previous decades?
The landowner is changing.
One reason is that the landowner is changing. In some areas, up to 50% of landowners don’t live near their land. Because of this, it has become much more difficult to connect with landowners and build relationships with them. The days of doing a good job and growing a good-looking crop to help you be noticed are limited. You, as a farmer, have fewer eyes on you today from a landowner perspective. But the public perspective it is just the opposite.
Information at their fingertips.
Another difference is that the landowner is more educated than ever before. The USDA reports that up to 70% of landowners today have some form of college education. This is a big number. With this education base and information at their fingertips, landowners are more knowledgeable. They understand concepts from economics to business, environmental influences, and much more. This doesn’t mean they always understand what you go through to grow a crop and produce food, but they are willing to learn. Many landowners are even asking for a value-added business plan to help bring more value to their land.
A mind for business.
Landowners are also doing business differently than in years past. The majority of absentee landowners have reported renting their land to a local farmer as opposed to a family member or a friend. This is a much more business-minded person who is willing to look at the long-term benefits before the short-term gain, and doesn’t let relationships get in the middle of it. This is much different than in the past.
In previous years, it was who the landowner knew, whether that was the farmer or their family. It was all about the relationship with the family farming the ground. This is not always the case today. In the past several weeks, a number of landowners have contacted me to learn more and get started with Bird Dog. They are looking for information and technology to help them make decisions on what to do with their land. They are looking for things like trust, stewardship and value. Does this sound like you?
If so, Bird Dog is your solution to reach beyond your community.