Farm and Food 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.

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.

Veteran farmers’ service continues through agriculture

When I think of farmers, veteran farmers in particular, I think of hard working and innovative men and women. I see their work in rows of fields covering the rural landscape, in rolling green pastures dotted with livestock, and on shelves in grocery stores.

Farming is a livelihood, not an occupation. Family and community are at the center of its culture. These qualities help make farming an especially meaningful pursuit for many of our nation's veterans. The Center for Rural Affairs provides resources and education to help veteran farmers succeed.

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