You’ve worked hard your whole life and poured your heart and soul into your business, and you’re ready to start thinking about retirement. Now what?
Of all the challenges farmers face year after year, the most daunting challenge may be figuring out how to navigate the farm business succession process. If you’re a farmer or rancher planning to retire in the near future, the path toward a successful farm land and business transition may seem insurmountable.
What will happen to your business and land? How can your farm business become a vehicle for a well-earned retirement? If you’re a newer farmer or rancher in line to take the reins, how will you manage the farm business viably into the next generation? If you are asking yourself these questions, you are not alone. With over 20 years of experience in California family agriculture, FarmLink and its network of professionals are here to help.
One year • 10 farms • A succession plan
Retiring farmers with identified successor generations, related or not, are invited to submit an application to participate in California FarmLink’s new succession program, The Regenerator: A Year of Farm Succession Planning. This 12-month course, starting in November near Sacramento, will work with a small cohort of farm families and their successors – ‘teams’ – to generate plans that support transition to the next generation. Participants will convene monthly to learn from professionals, compare notes with their peers, and work step-by-step to plan for their financial and family well-being, and the health and continuity of their working farms and ranches.
The Regenerator takes a multi-faceted approach to farm succession planning. Participants will work with their own farm operators, identified successors and family members to create a personalized succession plan. Monthly meetings will feature in-depth presentations by professionals covering a range of topics including:
- Communication, intention setting and team-building
- Business valuation, structure, and transition of management
- Retirement, estate and tax planning
- Farmland conservation planning
- Creative approaches and financing strategies for land and business transfers
Participants will gain an understanding of the essential components of a good farm succession plan, strategies and creative tools to reach goals, and a plan that’s ready to launch. California FarmLink’s intention is to build farmers’ resilience by facilitating plans that will sustain farms and ranches into the next generation.
Who should apply?
If you own a farm or ranch business in California, have an identified successor, and plan to transition ownership within 15 years, this program is for you.
- All active agricultural producers are invited to apply for this program, with the exception of equestrian, cannabis, sod, timber and fishery producers.
- Families already in active transition (such as having major assets listed for sale) are invited to seek resources from FarmLink, but are not candidates for this program.
- The retiring farmer must be the primary applicant, naming at least one successor and one additional family member or stakeholder in the business who has agreed to participate in the program, for a minimum of 3 people per Farm Team.
- Don’t have a successor? Register on our Land Portal to connect with a potential successor today!
- FarmLink serves primarily underserved and low and moderate income families. Farmers of color and low resource farmers are encouraged to apply.
- Families and their successors must be willing to travel to Sacramento for in-person trainings at least once monthly during the program.
Schedule and Additional Support
The Regenerator will begin November 2021 and conclude in October 2022. Meetings will be held the first Wednesday of each month, both in-person in Sacramento and through webinars, each for 2 – 8 hours with catering provided. As part of their participation, Teams will be eligible to receive financial assistance to meet with preferred business service providers to help accomplish their individual plan. Upon the completion of course milestones, each Team may be eligible to receive up to $1600 paid directly to service providers of their choosing to facilitate the completion of their succession plan. In addition to subsidized support from outside service providers, participants will benefit from the resources and support of FarmLink staff throughout the program, and beyond.
The Regenerator: A Year of Farm Succession Planning is generously sponsored by: