; Farm Transfer / Estate Planning for Northeast Farmers | Conferences | AgRisk Library


Conference Name Farm Transfer / Estate Planning for Northeast Farmers

Robert Parsons


Extension educators from 5 New England states joined together to provide educational programs on farm transfer issues. With funding provided by the Northeast Center for Risk Management Education, more than 20 workshops have attracted more than 1000 farm families in the past 4 years.

Estate issues are somewhat more complex in the Northeast because of small scale agriculture, high land values, relative comparative production disadvantages. But yet agriculture continues to play an important societal role throughout the region by providing open landscape, a basis for regional tourism, and leading the nation in the production of small scale specialty and organic food production.

We have concentrated on a “round 1" which provides participants a review of the major issues including retirement planing, health issues, methods of transferring assets, and ownership entities. The workshops also include a “legal” view by a lawyer and description of the sale of development rights and bringing in non-farm members to operate the farm business. All workshops end with a panel of farmers who have gone through the planning process.

Evaluations have been overwhelmingly favorable. More then 90% have rated the workshops as “very helpful” and 85% found a segment that would greatly aid their family situation. The sessions led by an attorney were rated highest, followed by the farmer panel.

This year includes a “round 2" aimed at farmers ready to take some definite action. These workshops will address the transition process by addressing the use of wills and the choice of ownership entity, and how they may change throughout the transition process.