Virginia Farm Link Newsletter

One Year Anniversary of the Virginia Farm Link Website

Message from Commissioner Joe Guthrie:

Welcome to the inaugural newsletter from the Virginia Farm Link program. As a proud sixth-generation Virginia farmer, it is an honor to serve as the 18th Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS). This is an exciting time for Virginia agriculture. The Commonwealth’s agricultural production is one of the most diverse in the nation, with many Virginia commodities and products ranking in the top 15 among all US states. Virginia farmers are great stewards of their land, protectors of the state’s water resources and creative innovators of technology, whose perseverance helps provide the food, fiber and fuel we use everyday. Yet, we realize the challenges farmers face, both as experienced producers retire and look for the next generation to carry on their legacies and as new producers attempt to enter the marketplace. The Virginia Farm Link site is here to help. We have created a space to connect farm owners and farm seekers and we are constantly expanding the resources available on the site to help with succession planning. I hope you find this resource helpful.

Farm Link Website Statistics

Featured Resource: Planning the Future of Your Farm: A Workbook Supporting Farm Transfer Decisions, Virginia Edition

This workbook was developed to help Virginia families who own farm, forest, and horticulture lands and desire to keep their land in production and/or in their family as it passes to the next generation.

Upcoming Events: Farm Finance and Conservation Planning Seminar

Access to financing is one of the most challenging barriers beginning farmers face. In order to address this issue, Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Matt Lohr has partnered with key lending institutions and state and federal agencies to host an educational workshop. This seminar will provide resources helping producers explore their options. To find more information on this seminar and how to register, click here.

For landowners ready to take a step back and transition out of their farming operations, deciding where to start can oftentimes be the most difficult part of the process. Before having these types of conversations with farm seekers or family members, it is important to ask yourself the following three questions:

Who should be involved in decisions?

Having upfront, open conversations can be the simplest way to avoid conflict. Consider co-owners of your operation, family members, and employees. It is helpful to remember individuals who may be affected by changes, even if they are not responsible for making the final decisions regarding the future of your farm. For example, are you considering selling your land, but already have a farmer leasing it?  

What does success look like to you?

Evaluating your goals and vision for the future is critical. What do you want out of a transition? If your priority is to ensure your land or business remains in its current use, your next steps may be different as compared to a goal of receiving the highest bid. Conversations with farm seekers will be much more efficient when you come to the table prepared with your vision of a successful outcome. 

What is your timeline?

Finding the right person to purchase your land or take over your operation can take months, or even years. Are you willing to wait for a scenario that is aligned with your goals, or do you need to move on as quickly as possible?

Choosing a farmer to work or purchase your land can certainly be daunting, but a little bit of preparation will go a long way towards making the process smoother. For more information, be sure to visit the “Farm Transition Guidance” and “Best Practices" pages on the Virginia Farm Link website. 

To create your Farm Link account click here!
Facebook  Instagram  YouTube