Public Policy and the Next Generation of Farmers, Ranchers, Producers, and Agribusiness Leaders
Journal of Agromedicine 22(4): 312-315
The emerging, next generation of people engaged as managers in agriculture differs from the "baby boomer" farm generation that relishes certain traditions and an agrarian lifestyle. These futuristic producers and managers have been raised in a society that promulgates safety environment rules. They have witnessed lives saved by automobile seatbelts and lives improved from clean air and water. They know the basic cost of effective safety compliance is relatively fixed, regardless of the number of employees, and they are willing to invest resources that ensure a culture of safety, because it is economically beneficial, socially responsible, and probably required by the companies to whom they need to market their products. These same millennials understand that society and their customers will not continue to tolerate the high rate of agricultural injuries and deaths indefinitely. Public policy as a means to improve agricultural workers' safety and health is likely to be less resisted by the next generation of farmers, ranchers, producers, and agribusiness leaders who, regardless of legal or regulatory pressure, will implement internal business policies emphasizing safety, health, sustainability, and social justness as they understand it.