Austria’s young farmers a success story

Austria's young farmers a success story
Some of the featured farmers in the 2015 Young Farmers calendar. Photo: APA
Austria has the third highest number of young farmers in the EU - after Poland and the Czech Republic.

10.7 percent of Austria’s farmers are aged under 35. In Poland 14.7 percent are under 35, and in the Czech Republic 11.7. The EU average is 6.5 percent.

"We need well-trained, innovative young farmers to be able to make rural areas liveable and economically strong," Agriculture Minister Andrä Rupprechter (ÖVP) said.

Agricultural subsidies amounting to €26 million are available each year to make farming more attractive – 10 million more than in previous years.

Young farmers also get help with their set-up costs – receiving around €70 per hectare for their first 40 hectares for a period of five years. They also receive a one-off payment of €8,000 when they set up a farm which employs more than one worker. 

92 percent of Austrian farms are run as family businesses, according to the Farm Structure Survey.

“When a child or grandchild takes over the farm they tend to invest more efficiently and the farm grows,” said David Süß, Secretary General of Austria’s Young Farmers.

Almost a quarter of young farmers farm according to organic guidelines. Organic farming has become more popular in Austria, with roughly one in six farms classed as organic.

A Young Farmer’s calendar, released annually, is meant to raise awareness about farming and shows images of attractive young farmers working hard on the land.

Of Austria's total area of almost 84,000 square kilometres, about 67,000 square kilometres are used for farming and forestry.

Women manage 40 percent of Austria’s farms.

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