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Farm Transition and Succession Planning - Thoughts for the Younger Generation

In both Virginia and West Virginia, the average age of a farmer is now over 59 years old.  In Virginia, 36% of farmers are over 65 years old.  For many farming operations, this means that the farm will be transitioning from one generation to the next, or one owner to another, in the next 10 years.

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Because of this, we are hearing more and more about farm transition and succession planning.  This is a need and a topic area that has increased dramatically in popularity over the last several years, and will continue to be an important topic for many different operations in the years to come.  While the older generation plays a huge role in transition and succession planning, younger generations can also contribute and play an important role.  Ryan Goodman, blogger behind Agriculture Proud, shares some great tips and tools for younger generation as they begin to think about having conversations about farm transition and succession.
 
He shares:

“A proper succession plan needs to be comprehensive and encompass several areas to successfully guide the transfer of the operation to the next generation. Younger generations can make these conversations easier by understanding a few important concepts.

  • You are not the first generation to go through this.
  • Fair is not always equal, and equal is not always fair.
  • Power of attorney is an unfortunate, but necessary, designation.”
Click here to read Ryan's full article.
 
As with many other types of planning, open communication is one of the best tools available.  Keeping those lines of communication open between all those involved in the farm transition and succession process will help to ensure that the farm or agricultural business can continue to operate successfully for years to come.
 
Monday, September 11, 2017
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