The purpose of this qualitative case study was to develop an understanding of how
leaders of the fourth industrial revolution are affecting farming technology and to explain
how technology is affecting young farmers and their decision to pursue farming careers.
Four themes emerged from the data analysis of the semi-structured interviews with
13 Minnesota farmers: (a) work perception, (b) emotions surrounding career choice,
(c) leadership role and influence of others, and (d) thoughts about career choice. The
findings from this study provide a greater understanding of the leadership direction and
career choice among those in the new farmer movement who are more open to technology
for increasing profits and reducing expenses. With many challenges facing U.S. farming
leaders, strategic planning using creative, forward thinking in the form of technology may
be the answer for energizing and transforming the future of farming.
Key words: agricultural leaders, digital farming, farm industry leaders, farming technology,
fourth industrial revolution, young farmers