About the Network:
Goal: The goal
of the network is to support programs that foster the next
generation of farmers and ranchers.
The Need: The economic future of the nation's agriculture depends on the ability
of a new generation to enter farming. The barriers faced by the next generation
a crisis in agriculture.
Challenges to farm entry include:
- Insufficient farm entry strategies
- Insufficient farm succession and and retirement strategies
- Inability to acquire the initial capital investment
- Difficulty in identifying viable farm entry opportunities
- Difficulty in obtaining appropriate financial, managerial, and production assistance for the entering
and exiting parties
- Lack of appropriate community support
The Network believes that programs that help create the opportunity for young people to
begin a career in agriculture, particularly by addressing farm access, must be part of the
government's rural development effort.
Network response to date:
- Developed programs that link retirement and farm exit approaches
with farm entry strategies. Programs representing at least twenty states
Farm Link programs to "link" beginning and retiring farmers. The
majority of these programs lack funding to meet demand. Many of these programs
seminars and consultations that assist farmers in discovering ways to successfully
transition viable farm businesses from one generation to the next. Although
the desire to enter farming remains strong (i.e. with program ratios of beginning/retiring
farmer inquiries running as high as 10:1), the barriers to entry remain formidable.
All participating programs agree that one-on-one technical assistance and
resource information and referral are essential. Some programs also use "how-to" regional
and statewide workshops on farm succession and other beginning and exiting
- Developed new transition and tenure strategies which facilitate the entry
of the next generation and the exit of the existing farmer. These strategies
are regionally appropriate and respond to the unique needs of the full range
of existing farmers and land owners.
- Network development: The National Farm Transition Network holds annual
conferences with the goal of sharing information, strengthening existing
programs and helping to establish new programs. It maintains a web site and
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