Where to start with farm succession planning?

Farm succession planning is critically important for all farms. Preparing for such an important transition helps ensure that you achieve your goals. A full succession plan addresses the future of the business, the farmer, and the land.

photo credit Cordelia's Farm
photo credit Cordelia’s Farm (MA)

One of the questions we hear most often from farmers about farm succession is, “Where do I start?”

Succession planning can present challenges, and there are many angles to consider. A new workbook, Farm Succession Planning: Where Do I Start? helps transitioning farmers of any age to think about and address these important issues. This workbook was developed in collaboration with other farm succession advisors and farmers who have planned for succession. Working through the included worksheets will help start important conversations, clarify your goals and identify information to collect and share with family members, advisors and others who have a stake in the future of your farm.

Farm succession involves a lot of moving parts. Personal, family, financial and legal considerations drive the process. Farmers have shared how this workbook has helped in many ways. The workbook also features a farmer’s moving personal reflection on transferring the farm.

Most farmers that we work with want their land to stay in agriculture, but very few have plans in place that articulate how the land, equipment, business, and other assets will be divided among the next generation or unrelated operator. About 9 out of 10 senior farmers in New England are farming without a young farmer alongside them. How and to whom this land and farm infrastructure transfers will have an enormous impact on the future of farming in New England.

Without a plan, a farm’s future is at risk.

Land For Good offers one-on-one advising to New England farmers to help start, continue or complete your farm succession plan. Our Field Agents are available to assist you with the many steps along the way. Low or no-cost assistance is available. Costs vary depending on your needs and available funding, with always a sliding scale option. Complete our farm succession form to initiate a no-cost informational session.

This resource is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, through the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program (subaward number ENE19-155: Improving Professional Capacity to Deliver Farm Succession Planning Assistance in New England)

Related Links

Farm Transfer Toolbox for free resources & webinars
Farm Transfer Network of New England for resources & list of advisors
A farmer’s personal reflection on transferring the farm
A dairy farm finds hope in a successful transfer to a new farmer

PO Box 625
Keene, New Hampshire 03431
Phone: 603-357-1600