We know that farmland is changing hands rapidly, and there are many factors at play that are accelerating this trend. The farming generation is aging and farmers are ready to retire. Current economic trends are pushing some farmers into an early retirement or causing them to sell land to satisfy creditors. Land is also changing hands through inheritance. Even so, most beginning farmers report that access to farmland is the biggest hurdle they face to success. But if farmland is to remain in farming we certainly need beginning farmers to keep working farms operational. And we want to make farmland accessible to anyone who wants to farm, not just those with the easiest access to capital.
But how do we accomplish these goals? That’s a question that the Farmland Access Summit and its participants will be looking to answer together. If you’re interested in these issues, you may want to save the following date: October 21, 2019. The Summit is sponsored by Renewing the Countryside and is being organized by a group of people representing a variety of organizations and professionals who work with farmers and in farm transitions, including me. The Summit will take place in Red Wing, MN, the day before the National Farmland Viability Conference begins. And if you have the chance to stay for that conference as well, it should be a great educational and networking experience for professionals who work with farmers and in agribusiness. The National Farmland Viability Conference is held only every other year in a different location each time, and this year Red Wing, Minnesota had the honor of being chosen. Registration for the Farmland Viability Conference is already open, with details on speakers and topics to come.
So, watch this space for more details as we firm up the slate of speakers and topics for the Farmland Access Summit.