; Encore Entrepreneurship Extension Education | Conferences | AgRisk Library


Conference Name Encore Entrepreneurship Extension Education

Nathan Smith, Forrest Stegelin, and Nathan Smith


The average age of farmers is approaching 60 years, and those who are at least 60 years old are exiting farming at a rate of 10-12% per year. Because these farmers have been operating family farms non-stop for at least 40 years, accepting life without a daily routine is difficult. Many of these individuals have “retired,” only to find themselves desiring a busy lifestyle without the physical exertion of farming. Those with a farm background understand the concepts of risk and coping with uncertainty, and they have a work ethic; but, going from full-time farming to seemingly doing nothing leads to additional personal stressors. They view their decades of experience should be an asset, not a liability, to doing something now. Hence, the step-by-step development of an encore entrepreneurship extension education program for farm families. Initial activities include analyzing their own personality types, conducting personal assessments of being a risk taker in today’s environment, asking themselves if entrepreneurship is for them, preparing a personal reflective statement as to why they want to be an entrepreneur, and completing a management audit so that they can better work on their business, as opposed to working in it. Assistance is provided in writing a business plan, getting appropriate assistance, establishing the location, business structure, and financing, registering the business (permits, licenses, and tax ids), and hiring employees. Five two-day sessions, with a max of six farm families per session, have been held, with positive comments and results.

Presentation Materials