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VT senior farmers face succession planning challenges head-on with help from local groups

In Vermont, senior farmers age 65 or older operate 28% of the state’s farms. Of these 2,076 senior farmers, just 9% of them have someone under age 45 managing the farm with them. The 363,600 acres and $1.2 billion in land and agricultural infrastructure they own will transfer ownership in the next 10+ years in one way or another.

A Transferring The Farm Workshop to help VT farmers understand the options, resources and steps to transferring a farm business or farmland will be held February 12th from 9:00am to 3:30pm at UVM Extension classroom in Berlin VT (snow date of February 15th). Topics include why succession planning is important, retirement and estate planning, addressing tax issues in a transfer, legal entities and tool you can use to transfer farm assets, and determining your goals for retirement, business transitions, and your land. Local groups and experts will offer assistance to VT’s senior farmers. All generations, including family and non-family members, who may play a role in your farm’s future are encouraged to attend.

It’s never too early – or too late – to plan for your future and the future of your farm,” says Mike Ghia, Vermont Field Agent for Land For Good, who will lead the workshop. “At no point is a farm’s future more at risk than during this transition, especially farmers without proper succession or transfer planning assistance.”

The workshop fee is $10 per farmer and includes lunch. For more information or to register, call Land For Good at 603-357-1600 or at landforgood.org/rsvp.

Sponsored by Land For Good in partnership with Vermont Housing & Conservation Board, Dinse Law, Intervale Center, UVM Extension, and Yankee Farm Credit and is funded in part by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture through its Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program.

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Land For Good (LFG), based in Keene NH, is a New England-wide not-for-profit organization whose mission is to ensure the future of farming in the region by putting more farmers more securely on more land. With field agents serving all New England states, LFG educates, consult, innovates and advocates with and for farm seekers, established farmers, farmland owners, and communities. LFG is the only organization of its kind, nationally, with a sole focus on farmland access, transfer, and tenure.

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