; Impact of New England Farm Transfer/Transition Workshops | Conferences | AgRisk Library


Conference Name Impact of New England Farm Transfer/Transition Workshops

Robert Parsons


A study of participants of the New England Farmland Transfer/Transition Workshops from 2005-2010 found that more then $230 million of farm assets have been protected by a farmland and/or a farm business transition plan. Family based farmland and farm business preservation is of major concern across the US as current farmers continue to age without making any plans to transfer the farmland and /or business to the next generation. Failing to plan is planning for the farm business to fail. Since 2005, we have conducted more than 30 workshops across 6 New England states for more than 1100 participants. Measuring the impact of the workshops has been a challenge because farmers find the topic very intimidating and requires sometimes years of thought to determine what they would like to do. The decision to put off action means to take no action. A mail survey of participants has found that the most common actions included speaking to family members and meeting with an Extension Agent. More than 45% have updated or written a will. More then 40% have met with an attorney. Despite the actions taken by participants, comments often mentioned the difficulty in determining what to do first and how to get the process started. A number of farmers have attended more than 5 workshops before putting a plan into action. Another comment was the lack of educational material that can be reviewed at home by elderly farmers who cannot attend workshops. This problem was addressed by development of on-line topical videos that provide basic information and more than 15 topics and provides 3 farmer testimonials.