What are young farmers doing to set their futures on the farm in motion?
Gustavo Boscoli, the 28 year old co-principal of Bragança Agronegócios, a crop and livestock operation in Mato Grosso, Brazil, can tell you. Better yet, follow him @gustavo_boscoli on Instagram and he can show you.
First thing you’ll notice is his farm technology. Monster machines—from his extra-large pickup to fleets of massive cultivators, tractors, harvesters, and haulers—dominate Boscoli’s feed. Which makes sense, because the next thing you’ll notice is that his fields of soybeans, corn, rice, and sorghum seemingly cover the planet.
Scores of photos don’t tell the whole story, however. The fields of Bragança Agronegócios may be as gold and the skies as blue as they were when Boscoli’s father and grandfather were leading the operation, but this Boscoli is a new breed of young farmer. He and the rest of the social-first generation are transforming not only food production but our relationship to it.
A focus on ROI
In taking over the family farm from his father, who died in 2018, Boscoli differs from Gen Z, who are more likely to leave the family farm than run it. Many young Brazilians who grew up farming have moved to metropolitan areas or the US and Europe because they want to experience a different lifestyle. Those who do come back to the farm often return with a PhD or an MBA because they feel they need more business knowledge to succeed.
Boscoli doesn’t have a degree in agronomy and doesn’t plan on pursuing an MBA. But his outlook is that of a businessman. “Every day I wake up and think, how do I produce more? How can I produce more income, more return on investment? It’s not just financial, this pressure: how will I feed the world?”
Gen Z farmers are different kinds of customers. Rather than look to their fathers’ brands for solutions, they’re looking to technology, and data, to help them get back their investments and generate a profit.