If you are marketing to young farmers, it is important that you understand their struggles and concerns. After all, you can’t provide the solutions young farmers are looking for if you don’t know what solutions they need.

So what do young farmers view as their biggest challenges? Read on to learn what these farmers list as obstacles to their success.

  1. Land availability: If a young farmer is not inheriting land, it can be difficult to secure land to rent. This is especially true when they can’t pay the amount of rent others are offering. It is important for young farms to understand that landowners care about more than just money. Young farmers, therefore, need to accentuate their strengths, including things like trustworthiness, desire to improve the land and a commitment to keeping fields and soil healthy.
  2. No access to capital: Many young farmers lament the fact that they do not have the access to the capital that they need. The solution? Young farmers need to develop the type of business plan that will allow them to merit financing.
  3. Difficulty speaking with landowners: Dealing with landowners and being able to hold their own in negotiations is a learned skill that takes time to develop. Young farmers need to practice their communication tactics so that they are able to get a fair deal when they sit at the bargaining table.
  4. Lack of resources: There was a time when young farmers would get significant assistance from government agencies such as the USDA. Budget cuts and other factors mean this type of assistance is no longer available. Today, young farmers need to reach out to other farmers or join agricultural networks that may provide a mentor. Social media also is a good way to reach out to those who can help them.
  5. Lack of financial know-how: There is nothing wrong with outsourcing some of the business and marketing tasks related to a farm. Many young farmers will need time to figure out how to take care of the business end of their operation. There is no shame in hiring help until you get some experience under your belt.
  6. Burn out: In an effort to make a go of it in farming, many young farmers work day and night. While being a hard worker is admirable, a balance must be struck. If not, burnout will occur and a farmer’s health and personal relationships may suffer.
  7. Tension within the family: Many young farmers are taking over the family farm. And while his or her parents are all for passing the farm down, many times it can get sticky when they have a hard time letting go.

Everyone loves to eat and everyone loves food. What does that mean for farmers and agricultural-based businesses? It means that they need to get creative with their marketing techniques.

While everyone can tell you the food they grow or sell is healthy, delicious and a great value, today it’s all about how you say these things. Want to get heard in the crowded food-based marketplace? Here are some fun and different ways farmers, grocers, restaurants and any other foodies can get noticed (heck, you might even become a viral sensation).

  1. Inject a little humor. Food doesn’t have to be a serious issue. Sure, you can scare Americans into believing they won’t survive without the vitamins and minerals in your food but they’ll respond better to a little humor.
  2. Do some good deeds (and make sure people know about it). Does your farm, dairy or restaurant donate leftovers to the local food bank? Post about it on social media. You’ll still be doing a (very) good deed but you’ll get credit for it, as well. Consumers want to know they are supporting organizations that are making a difference in their community.
  3. Let your customers get to know you. Are you a restaurant that gets its food from local farms? Make sure that information is printed on the menu. Do you hire veterans? Anything unique about your food-based business should be celebrated.
  4. Pay attention to packaging. Earth-friendly packaging is huge trend and so is vintage wrapping. Today’s consumers are environmentally conscious and frown upon waste. Vintage wrapping and packaging gives consumers the feeling that their food is made in small batches and is more personalized.
  5. Know your target market. How you market your food will depend a great deal on your target audience. Mothers of young children want to know that everything that goes on their children’s plate is pure and natural. Millennials want to know they are purchasing food from environmentally-conscious companies. Families on the go want quick, healthy options that don’t break the bank. Make sure your marketing messages tell your target audience what they want to hear.

When you are selling food you are selling a feeling or idea, as well. Make sure your food product doesn’t get passed over by a particular market segment because it wasn’t marketed to attract those unique consumers!

Augers, grain bins and tractors are tools of the farming trade. Unfortunately, they also are common items that get struck by lightning, posing a huge risk to farmers.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, farmers are among those most likely to get struck by lightning while working outdoors. And with thunderstorm season upon us, it is important that farmers take the threat of lightning seriously.

Lightning is the leading cause of weather-related deaths in America. The greatest number of lightning strikes occur in July, with June and August coming in second and third. A majority of lightning fatalities occur between noon and 6 p.m.

In the past 40 years, nearly 400 people a year have been hit by lightning. Of that number about 80 have died. Many others have been left with severe neurological problems.

Experts tell farmers (and everyone else) to go indoors as soon as they hear thunder. If you are able to hear thunder, a storm is within 10 miles. It is important that you avoid all contact with electrical equipment and plumbing, as well. Once the storm has passed you should wait 30 minutes before the last thunder clap before going back outside.

Unfortunately, many farmers do get caught outside during lightning and are unable to make it to safety. If this happens, the National Weather Service advises that these individuals make themselves as small as they are able and have as little contact with the ground as is possible. Squat down on the balls of your feet, tuck your head down and don’t touch the ground with your hands. Right before lightning strikes, people report feeling the hair on their beck stand up.

Many people are surprised to learn that the most common cause of lightning deaths occur as a result of cardiac arrest. This means that knowing CPR can save lives. Contrary to popular believe, it is not dangerous to touch an individual who has been struck by lightning.

And farmers aren’t the only ones at risk, farm animals also are at risk from lightning strikes. Just last month, 32 cows were killed in Missouri by lightning. The veterinarian who examined those cows said that was the most he had ever seen killed by a single lightning strike. Previously, the most he had seen killed was six.

The 32 cows killed were likely huddling together to get out of the rain when the lightning struck. Their owner, Jared Blackwelder of Texas County, said while the cows were not pets he raised every one of them. As a dairy farmer, he interacted with them twice a day and was greatly affected by their deaths.