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Young farmers struggle with child care and health insurance – and that can threaten the future of family farms

By Shoshanah Inwood, Assistant Professor of Rural Sociology, The Ohio State University
Andrea Rissing, President's Postdoctoral Scholar in the School of Environment and Natural Resources, The Ohio State University
Florence Becot, Associate Research Scientist in Rural Sociology, Adjunct Faculty - National Farm Medicine Center, The Ohio State University
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Kat Becker feeds hundreds of people with the vegetables she grows on her Wisconsin farm, and she wants to expand. But her ability to grow her business collides with her need for affordable health insurance and child care.

She has had to make difficult choices over the years: keep her farm income low enough so her children can qualify for the state’s public health insurance, or expand the farm and buy expensive private insurance. To look after her three young children, she could hire a cheap but inexperienced babysitter, or spend a significant share of her income on child care and have…

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