We know that farm transitions are unique to every family, and to every piece of land.
Whatever your situation might be, a farm transition means that the responsibility for a piece of agricultural land will be changing hands. We are here to assist you with that transition, and offer targeted, personal support and options to landowners who are retiring, and to people who have inherited or expect to inherit farmland.
Our Farm Transition Coaches are members of the community–many of them people who have gone through their own farm transitions and know the potential pitfalls. They will work with you to get the ball rolling, and prepare you for talking with professionals (lawyers, accountants, etc.), and making sure they do what’s right for you and for your farmland. The coaches will meet with you, listen to your values, needs, and goals, and offer information to help you make your plans. This is a complex project that takes effort and communication from family members and others, but planning for the farm transition just might be the most important thing you can do for your land.
Some people like to start by doing research, while others prefer talking to a real person. When you’re ready to talk, our Transition Coaches offer targeted, personal support and options to landowners who are retiring, and to people who have inherited or expect to inherit farmland. If you need the assistance of a farmland transition coach, please contact us at 217-840-2128 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We will send you more information and will set up an initial consultation when you are ready.
Questions to think about
Who are you?
- Retiring Farmer
- A farmer who isn’t ready to retire yet
- Spouse of a farmer
- Child or other heir of a farmer
- Non-farming owner of agricultural land
- Spouse of a non-farming landowner
- Child or heir of a non-farming landowner
- Legal or financial advisor to a farmer or landowner
All of these kinds of people have a stake in the process of transitioning a farm into new hands. Anyone can be the “spark” that starts the process.
What can you do?
Farmers and farmland owners can create a plan that ensures that both the elder generation and the heirs are treated fairly, that any new farmers starting out on the land have a reasonable chance to be successful, and that the land will be cared for in the way that your family wants it to be.
When should I start a farm transition plan?
It’s never too early to start educating yourself and family members about the options for farm transitions. Even if the family isn’t ready to put a formal plan in place, even if no one else wants to talk about it, now is a good time to start learning and laying some groundwork for future discussions. There is no time that’s too early, but there are many times that are too late.
Why do this sort of planning?
Farm transition planning often involves stress and difficult family conversations, which inevitably involve the unpleasant topics of death and taxes. But the more you can communicate with family members and with advisors (legal and financial), the more likely that the farm transition can be accomplished according to everyone’s needs, without anyone being caught by surprise. Key goals like keeping the farm in the family, or keeping a lifetime of conservation practices intact when the farm changes hands, aren’t going to happen by accident.