Center for Rural Affairs Hosting Free Community Workshops in Ord

Two separate programs, one purpose; Helping beginning family farmers and ranchers get started in your community

Lyons, NE – The Center for Rural Affairs is hosting two free workshops on Friday, August 10 in Ord, NE.   A community workshop will address how community involvement to support beginning farmers and ranchers is imperative to the prosperity of the area.

Chuck and Josh Zangger

A second workshop, geared towards beginning farmers and ranchers includes a farm tour and discussion. Value-added agriculture, intergenerational family farming, financing, land access, farm business management, beginning farmer programs, and strategies for farm succession will be part of the discussion.

“Farmers and ranchers under the age of 35 are becoming scarce in Nebraska,” said Virginia Wolking with the Center for Rural Affairs. According to the National Census of Agriculture, the number of under-35 farm and ranch operators in Nebraska has dropped drastically in recent years, from 13,436 in 1982 to a mere 3,353 in 2007 – a 75% decrease. In the same time period, the number of senior (65+) farmers and ranchers has increased by 149%, from 8,777 to 13,062.

“The cost of land for farming and ranching continues to rise,” Wolking continued. “With record-setting land sales of $20,000 per acre in some parts of the country, land ownership is completely out of reach for most beginning farmers and ranchers.”

According to Wolking, these challenges present enormous opportunity for Central Nebraska – community members, landowners and retiring farmers can partner with aspiring farmers and ranchers to give them a chance at success.

Women who own or manage farmland in Nebraska are especially encouraged to attend.  “Women landowners now own approximately one-third of Midwest and Great Plains farm and ranch land, even more in many parts of Nebraska. They often want to use their land to help support a farm or ranch family,” continued Wolking. “Many of these women are unsure about how to partner with a beginning farmer or rancher and what resources are available to help them. The community involvement workshop will address these issues and much more.

An informal discussion format will allow landowners and community members to talk about their individual farm succession goals including generation transfer, land stewardship, and economic issues.

“All interested community members are welcome to these discussions – owners, operators, inheritors of farmland and community members who are interested in seeing beginning farmers and ranchers succeed,” concluded Wolking.

To participate, RSVP by calling Virginia Wolking at (402) 687-2103 ext. 1014 or

Event Details:
What: Community Involvement  Workshop – Continuing a strong tradition of family farms and ranches is essential to Central Nebraska. Participants will discover how to contribute to the success of their community.

When: Friday, August 10th, 2012

Where: Ord Area Chamber of Commerce / Valley County Economic Development Building
1514 K Street
Ord, NE

Event Details:
What: Beginning Farmer and Rancher Discussion and Farm Tour – Farm tour and discussion with the operators of Zangger Popcorn Hybrids.  Beginning farmers and ranchers come prepared to ask questions, learn about value-added agriculture and intergenerational family farming.

When: Friday, August 10th

Where: Meet at the Ord Area Chamber of Commerce / Valley County Economic Development Building
1514 K Street
Ord, NE
(Depart from here for the farm tour. Lunch will be followed by a brief presentation on strategies for farm succession.)

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