Thursday, November 05, 2009

Farm Transition Talk This Monday In Athens

(The Rural Rambler just received the following announcement from the sponsors for this event)

Meredith Fox, the Northeast Ohio Farm Link Coordinator, will speak on Monday, November 9th at 7:30 pm at the Athens Community Center. Her presentation will cover the major issues surrounding farm transition. Existing farmers, beginning farmers, and those interested in land protection are encouraged to attend. The talk is open to the public. Refreshments will follow the talk. If you wish, please bring a snack
item to share.

Transferring a farm from one generation to the next, whether the parties are related or not, is about more than farmer training. It’s about preserving land for posterity. Beginning farmers need land to farm. On the flip side of this coin there are existing farmers wanting to conserve their land for these new farmers. Both sides are needed in order to have a successful food system and beautiful working landscapes in the future. Farm Link programs work to support both existing and beginning farmers and to preserve farmland.

Farm transition is a major issue facing agricultural producers as the general population ages and new farmers lack training and capital to take over existing farm businesses. Farm Link programs around the county assist with these problems by providing databases of available land, volunteer opportunities, loan programs, production classes, and access to planning resources for business, estate, and succession. These programs are in high demand as the cost of land can be highly
prohibitive for new farmers trying to start their own operations, and many older farmers want to see their land stay in agricultural use but have no heirs interested in farming. Ms. Fox will discuss these resources during her presentation.

This event is sponsored by the Athens Conservancy, the Athens Chapter of the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association, and the Appalachia Ohio Alliance. Farm Link connects farmers and land in Northeast Ohio. It is a program of the Countryside Conservancy. The Countryside Conservancy works to support community-based food and farming systems in Northeast Ohio.

For more information on this event, contact Donna Goodman at 594-3309 or visit ohiofoodshed.org.