The 2013 survey also shows 83% of the nation's young farmers and ranchers say they are better off than they were five years ago. Last year, 94% reported being better off.
More than 94% considered themselves lifetime farmers, while 90% would like to see their children follow in their footsteps. The informal survey reveals that 84% believe their children will be able to follow in their footsteps.
The survey points out that 64% of YF&R members consider communicating with consumers a formal part of their jobs. Many use social media platforms as a tool to accomplish this. The popular social media site, Facebook, is used by 82% of those surveyed who use the Internet. Thirty percent of respondents said they use the social networking site Twitter, and 18% use YouTube to post videos of their farms and ranches.
"Use of technology to improve production practices on the farm and to interact with consumers—our customers—continues to grow," Hunnicutt said. "Having instant access to information and communication tools is the 'new normal' and that's not going to change," he said.
Nearly 80% of young farmers and ranchers surveyed said they regularly use mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets to communicate. That's up from 66% last year.