North Carolina farm families and landowners face many challenges. The average age of farmers continues to rise and North Carolina continues to show record losses in farm and forestland. These trends and others threaten the generational transfer of family farms unless landowners begin to plan for the future. Farm transition is a comprehensive approach to keeping farms in production as they pass from one generation to the next.
There are numerous multi-generational farms in operation in North Carolina today. However, few of these farm families have planned for what happens to the farm when the person who currently makes the major decisions decides to retire or passes away. Transitional planning can help to alleviate the obstacles that successors will face, while ensuring the continued financial health of the farm family and business.
Mount Olive College’s Lois G. Britt Agribusiness Center has worked with multiple counties in central and eastern North Carolina to create farm and forest protection plans which identified challenges facing farm families. These plans, almost universally, identified a critical need for farm transition planning and education for farmers and landowners as a first step to ensure financial stability.
The United States Department of Agriculture Risk Management Agency in 2012 awarded Mount Olive College funding to provide educational events and workshops for landowners and farm families. These events and workshops will feature experts who will provide information and resources to jump start the planning process.
Mount Olive College’s Agribusiness Center will partner with multiple partners to provide day-long regional events titled “Planning for the Future of Your Farm”. Topics will cover:
The Tools of Farm Transfer
Starting the Transfer Conversation
Basic Estate Planning Documents: Wills, Trusts, Gifting
Federal and State Tax Updates
Letting go – Generational Transfer
Creating a Team of Advisors
For more information about these day-long regional events go to: Planning For the Future of Your Farm (You-tube video) and Planning For the Future of Your Farm – 3 Regional Events (Information Flyer).
Additional workshops will be conducted throughout the region, engaging commodity groups, co-ops, forestry associations and other organizations. The workshops will focus on specific issues identified by attendees and will provide more comprehensive details to address identified issues. Workshops can range in length from a 45 minute to a half-day presentation based on the needs of the requesting audience.
For more information or to schedule a workshop in your area contact Mount Olive College’s Agribusiness Center at: 919-658-7510.
Planning For the Future of Your Farm Regional Events:
January 16, 2013 at Lee County Cooperative Extension
For information and to register call: 919-775-5624
February 20, 2013 at Robeson County Cooperative Extension
For information and to register call: 910-671-3276
March 7, 2013 at Mount Olive College Agribusiness Center
For information and to register call: 919-658-7510