Farm Succession Planning: Recent Article in USA Today
Christopher Doering, writing for USA Today, reported on the challenges of farm succession planning in this article published on May 19. The article includes the stories of several farm families and the way in which they’re planning (or not planning) to pass on their farm.
The average age of principal farm operators, according to the 2007 census of agriculture is 57 years old. As the principal operator population ages, the issue of farm succession becomes ever more pressing. While there is no data available on what percentage of farmers have done farm succession planning, some commentators are concerned that some farmers are not engaging in it.
“It seems like a lot of people aren’t doing it, which is why we hear all these horror stories about families losing their farm because they didn’t plan for it,” said Julia Freedgood, managing director with the American Farmland Trust’s Farmland and Communities Initiatives. “As the farming population ages this problem is going to get worse. Even though it’s an incredibly valuable asset, people don’t just think about it that much.”
Read the USA Today article for multiple perspectives on the subject. If you’re interested in learning about resources available on farm succession planning, please visit http://www.beginningfarmers.org/farm-succession/