Beginning Farmer & Rancher News

Working in a farm successor as part of a retirement plan

Are you one of the many farmers without an identified farm successor? Purdue University says that's around 75 percent, and about half expect nonfamily members to take over. A gradual shift of responsibilities and ownership, plus an extended mentoring period, can help ensure the continued success of the farm business.

After checking out a candidate's experience and references, a short trial period with paid labor can be a good step. This probationary period can help both of you assess how well you work together, how your daily priorities match up, and how you deal with setbacks.

Farmers markets increase access to fresh food

There is nothing better than slicing up a ripe garden tomato fresh off the vine. However, some may not have the means to grow fresh vegetables in their backyards.

At the Center for Rural Affairs, we work with rural communities to build healthy, sustainable, local food systems. That includes supporting farmers markets.

Farmers markets expand access to fresh, healthy food in communities that need it most. They provide affordable, competitive prices for low-income families, and many accept food vouchers.

One dream: to farm in America

Daily life on a farm outside Lexington, Nebraska, is far from luxurious. However, Vicente Acevedo and Magdalena Barrios wouldn’t have it any other way.

“A typical day: I come home from work, prepare dinner, clean the house, and then I go outside to help feed the animals,” Magdalena said. “There is never a day off. I would rather be at the farm than go out to a party.”

Farming is life for this couple. Both grew up on ranches in rural Mexico — Vicente raising animals and Magdalena helping to cultivate beans and corn.

Conservation Reserve Program - Transition Incentive Program recommendations

We investigated statewide usages and participation in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Conservation Reserve Program – Transition Incentive Program (CRP-TIP) in South Dakota, North Dakota, Iowa, and Nebraska, and submitted the following recommendations to the USDA to make regarding program delivery. (Check out our report, "Pathways to Land Access.")

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