Research Bulletin (Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station)


Getting established in farming has become more difficult for young farmers in recent years, partly because of the increased amount of capital required to carry on a farm business. Too, the need for improvements in managerial ability has grown with the increased need for capital. The problems of farm planning thus become more acute for beginning farmers since they usually have access to relatively small amounts of capital and have limited farming experience. Many young farmers aware of the gains which may be obtained from improved farm planning, have turned to the Extension Service for assistance. Consequently, to provide the assistance requested, the Iowa Agricultural Extension Service has underway a program in farm and home planning for beginning farmers. This program is designed to provide the necessary technical information and guidance in farm organization.

The success of an educational program for young farmers, however, depends on the basis on which recommendations are made. Information, based on empirical evidence, is needed to determine the way in which capital limitations affect income opportunities under different farming situations. Such information is helpful in deciding the most profitable way to invest limited funds. The amount of profits and, therefore, the length of time required to get established depend on the choice of enterprises and on how limited resources are allocated among enterprises. Hence, research was undertaken to determine and outline the alternative income opportunities, from different combinations of enterprises, open to young farmers In central Iowa. As a result, certain guideposts for use in decision-making could be established. These guideposts, which consider individual goals, managerial ability and resource supplies, should be useful as bases for directing recommendations to young farmers seeking to get established and, at the same time, maximize incomes.



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