USDA grant will help beginning farmers in Pennsylvania

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a red barn on a farm.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A $50,000 grant will allow Penn State Extension to offer a program designed to bring together beginning and retiring farmers in Pennsylvania, to facilitate the transition of farms from one generation to the next.

The award is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, which supports a wide range of professional development activities and topics, such as managing capital, acquiring and managing land and learning effective business and farming practices.

The grant-funded project, titled “Setting the Stage for Succession: Tools for the Beginning Farmer,” will pilot an overnight retreat workshop that will bring together prospective farmers looking to get started and retiring farmers who want to keep their land in agriculture. The goal is to help facilitate the successful transition of farmland and knowledge.

Topics addressed through the project will include finding farmland, legal and tax structures of land purchase and ownership, asset transfer channels and retirement planning considerations for new farmers. The project also will offer training for project personnel to learn how to design and facilitate the workshop effectively so the program can be replicated in the future.

The workshop is scheduled to be held in early March in Lancaster County, and more information will be released as details are finalized. New and beginning farmers also can learn more about starting a farm by visiting the Penn State Extension website at extension.psu.edu/business-and-operations/starting-a-farm.

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