FREMONT – Do you have a farm in the family? Experts at the University of Nebraska predict that over half of the privately owned farmland in Nebraska will change ownership within the next ten years. Why? Inheritances.
According to the 2012 Census of Agriculture, 57% of farmers that identified farming as their primary occupation were over 55 years old, and 29% were over 65 years old. The private farming sector is aging, and family farms are being prepared for the next generation, leading the experts to anticipate a large-scale change in ownership of agricultural land in the next decade.
Farmers are still planning to keep their families involved in those family farms, but the trend in rural to semi-rural areas shows generational migration – the kids are leaving the farm for the city. Education and careers often take the new generation away from their rural roots, and when it’s time to take over the family farm, they’re uninterested, overwhelmed or out-of-touch with current farm management practices. Gone are the days of lifetime farming for many – it’s become increasingly common for a person to be faced with managing a farm for the first time in their life when they’re well into their 40s. So-called “inheritance farmers” need to understand that farming practices and management concepts have changed dramatically since they were on the farm.
To help address these challenges and reignite a passion for production in the next generation, the Nebraska Extension office is hosting a seminar called “So You’ve Inherited A Farm: Now What?” across the state. One of these seminars will be held on Monday, November 20, 1:30 – 4:00 p.m., at Scribner in the new Furstenau Community Center on 530 Main Street. This seminar is free and open to the public; however, preregistration is required.
You can preregister by calling the Nebraska Extension office in Dodge County at 402.727.2775 or register online at croptechcafe.org Preregistration is requested by Friday, November 17.
Anyone that owns farmland will want to attend the seminar to get valuable information about selling versus leasing farmland, short and long-term management tactics, how to craft lease agreements, the legal considerations for new and retiring farmers, and family communication tips. Growers are encouraged to share this opportunity with their new landlords to increase their farmland ownership literacy.