In 2014, a group of pioneering organic farmers, coined “Agrarian Elders” by The New York Times, gathered on the California coast to discuss “a national emergency”--the greying American farmer. According to the 2012 USDA Agricultural Census, the number of California farmers over 65 has grown by 20%, while the number of beginning farmers decreased by 23%.
Many seasoned farmers are asking: “Can I retire? Can I pass my knowledge and legacy to the next generation?” At the same time, young farmers are asking, “How can I get started, and build on what the elders have accomplished?”
California FarmLink has launched a long-term initiative to develop an array of farmland and business succession services to support established farmers in transitioning their businesses to new farmers, and enable young farmers to continue the farms and harness the wisdom that has been gained.
Your input is critical to guiding the work of this project. We invite farmers of all generations to take a few minutes to complete an in-depth needs assessment to guide the work of FarmLink’s agrarian elders succession project. Your responses will provide us with real-life information about the needs, challenges, experiences, ideas, and approaches to shape our work.
Please feel free to share this survey https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CAFarmlink_Organic_Elders with your farmer friends and colleagues, as well as other agricultural professionals or stakeholders.
If you are seeking assistance on transferring your farm land and/or business to the next generation, or you are looking for a farm succession opportunity, please contact Liya Schwartzman: 831.425.0303, extension 7017, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Funding for this project was provided by the Washington State University Western Extension Risk Management Education Center, the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), the UNFI Foundation, Clif Bar Family Foundation, Farm Aid, the Clarence E. Heller Charitable Foundation. Thank you for your generous support of the Agrarian Elders Initiative.