May 12, 2001

The Farm Credit System Foundation, Inc., has just made available its Barriers to Success Survey in a Spanish-language version and is extending the survey period until September 1. "We want to make sure that Spanish-speaking, and young and beginning farmers and ranchers have access to this landmark survey," said John Hays, vice president for national programs.

The Farm Credit System Foundation is seeking all farmers and ranchers in the United States who are either young (between the ages of 18-35), or, beginning (have less than 10 years experience) to fill out a confidential "Survey on Barriers to Success" at the following sites, in English, at, or in Spanish, at

Respondents who choose to provide their contact information will be eligible to win an all-terrain vehicle of their choice, valued up to $6,000. Some Farm Credit System lenders are sponsoring additional local incentives in specific geographic regions of the United States. More information on the Foundation and the survey can be found at

Data from the survey will be analyzed and made available broadly to policy makers so that recommendations can be developed for the next Farm Bill. When asked "Why," Hays referred to the latest USDA census data (1997) that indicates there are 152,156 young farmers between the ages of 18 and 35. The census makes no effort to identify beginning farmers, those with less than 10 years experience. "The USDA counts a farmer ONLY if that farmer is the most senior decision-maker for that
operation, i.e., they are the oldest. Junior partners or other owners of closely-held farming operations are not counted. As a result, there's a potentially large population of young and beginning farmers and ranchers in the United States out there who are being ignored," added Hays, "We want to change that."

To date, 129 firms/organizations are providing in-kind support for this survey initiative. "The Foundation is grateful for the number of organizations that have supported the Foundation's efforts since the study began on March 1, and we encourage other entities to join us in this worthwhile effort" said Hays. Organizations that would like to provide a link to the survey on their home page or that would like additional information should visit, or call him at 202-879-0853.

The Farm Credit System Foundation, Inc., is a charitable foundation created by the Farm Credit System to promote the education and development of rural America's young men and women and to provide funds for research on issues relevant to young, beginning and small farmers and ranchers. For more information on the FCS Foundation, contact John Hays, vice president at 202-879-0853 or via email:

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