A great deal of attention has been paid to the statistics that indicate that farmers and ranchers are getting older in the United States. The national average age of farm and ranch operators in the US is over 57. I have read that the average age in South Dakota is even higher. This issue and the overall economic picture in beef cattle production creates a lot of opportunity for beginning producers.

Additionally, the USDA recognizes aging producers as a problem and provides incentives to help beginning producers get started. They provide a low-interest loan program through FSA. They also have a Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) that provides grants to organizations that can provide assistance to beginning farmers and ranchers.