Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station [Later Life Farming]

Module 8a: Who Will Get Grandpa's Farm?

Planning for the transition of your farm is a necessary component of retirement planning for farm families. This is especially true if one of your goals is to pass on the legacy of the farm enterprise to the next generation. Farm transfer recipients can include both people related to you by blood or marriage and/or unrelated parties.

For more than two million U.S. family farms, transition planning will be a major challenge. The average age of American (and New Jersey) farmers is 57.1, which means a large number of farm operators are approaching retirement and need to take advantage of critical planning years preceding this transition. In the next 20 years, ownership of approximately 70% of U.S. farmland is expected to change hands.

Farm transfer decisions involve a lot more than just money. Family relationships and communication patterns (or lack thereof) are involved as well as issues such as "fairness" in the distribution of a farm owner's assets. Purdue University Cooperative Extension has developed a very comprehensive website, Who Will Get Grandpa's Farm?, to help farm owners discuss farm transfer issues with family members.

Online Resource

Useful Links

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