A survey of Iowa high schoolers who’re members of the Future Farmers of America finds just over half want to farm. The survey was conducted by the Coalition to Support Iowa’s Farmers.
Aaron Putze is a spokesman for that group. The survey found 55 percent of the F-F-Aers want to farm after completing their education, and 89 percent of those kids said they wanted livestock to be part of their farming operation.
Putze says the survey results counter the “conventional wisdom” about what farm kids hope to be when they grow up. “This shows that there still remains a large number of young people who want to make the farm their full-time career choice,” Putze says.
One of those kids is 18-year-old Klark Telleen, a senior at Monticello High who took the survey. “I’ve lived on a farm my whole life and I’ve loved it ever since I was old enough to be riding in the tractor or be outside feeding the calves,” Telleen says. “Whatever it may be, I’ve always liked the farm.” Telleen says he and three other kids in his graduating class want to farm.
Telleen plans to go to the community college in Calmar and then on to Iowa State University to get a four-year degree in dairy science. He hopes to then go home to the family farm where they milk one-hundred cows. Twenty percent of the F-F-A students who responded to the survey plan to pursue an ag-related career. But one-quarter of the F-F-A students surveyed do not intend to become farmers or go into an agricultural career.