To ensure a new generation of South Dakota agriculture producers is ready to take on the challenges of operating their business in today’s agriculture industry, SDSU Extension developed Growing Ag CEOs.
Growing Ag CEOs is a program focused on connecting new producers with seasoned and successful producers, agriculture leaders and the knowledge and research base found within the University system.
“South Dakota agriculture producers are experts in maximizing yields and raising superior livestock. However, as the average age of the South Dakota producer continues to increase, we’re at risk of losing their knowledge, experience and expertise,” said Rosie Nold, Ag and Natural Resources Program Director for SDSU Extension. “The number of younger producers eager to fill their shoes is not only dramatically low, but in need of additional skills required to operate in today’s business climate.”
Nold refers to Census of Agriculture data which showed the number of agriculture producers between the ages of 35 and 45 decreasing by 40 percent between 2002 and 2007.
Although the next generation of agriculture producers is more educated – holding degrees in animal science, agronomy, production agriculture or agriculture technology, many young producers lack experience in the business aspect of production agriculture.
“Successful producers need to be able to identify critical success factors, think through all variables impacting their business and integrate these factors into best management factors. Growing Ag CEOs will help young producers do this,” Nold said.
Realizing that many new producers are often the ones who stay home to keep things running, while the older generation attends educational conferences; Growing Ag CEOs will provide young producers with resources, education and experience to focus on developing skills in the business end of agriculture.
Source: SDSU Extension
“Growing Ag CEOs will help move new producers from an employee mindset to that of the business manager and agriculture CEO,” Nold said.
Growing Ag CEOs provides young producers with the opportunity to work within learning communities, created by SDSU Extension. Adapted to the interests and needs of participants, these learning communities connect new producers with current leaders and mentors in the South Dakota agriculture industry.