What will happen to my farm after me? This is a question being asked around the country as many farmers begin transitioning to retirement. University of Maryland Extension specialists realized there were financial and legal risk management strategies that could be used to help farmers plan for their farm’s future. Since 2014, specialists have worked to leverage funds, develop networks, and deliver programming to over 200 Maryland farmers on farm succession planning. Topics have included family communication strategies, explanations of local and federal estate law, relevant healthcare and long-term care laws, farm legal business structure, use of contracts, conservation and forest management leases, and tax laws. In a survey, 67% of participants reported they had never held a family meeting to discuss the future of the farm. Following the workshops, 82% of participants reported they learned about why their farm needs to have a transition plan and 65% reported they learned how to establish goals for themselves and their transition plans. Many reported they will use the information to create business plans and/or hold family meetings. This session will provide an overview of this farm succession education series, how programs were developed using stakeholder input, marketing strategies, strengths and weaknesses of the program, and evaluation methods. Conference attendees may use similar strategies to develop, market, and evaluate farm transition management programming in their regions.
|2019 Extension Risk Management Education National Conference