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Transfer key to saving Addison County farms

A key to keeping our family farms in Addison County is to help farmers successfully transfer their farming operations to the next generation. Starting in February, local farm families can learn the ins and outs about farm transfer in a workshop series offered in two locations. Three workshops have been designed to address different stages of farm transfer, from an introduction where families are just starting to consider a farm transfer, to a session for those that have been thinking about a farm business transition for a while. Each workshop will be held at the Lake Morey Inn in Fairlee, Vt. An Introduction to Transferring the Farm will be offered on Feb. 6 in and Feb. 13 . This day-long workshop will cover the basics that farm families need to consider when transitioning the farm from one generation to the next. Speakers will include UVM Extension specialists, local attorneys, farm family business consultant/licensed social worker, land trust and land link personnel, and farmers. Moving Your Farm Transfer Forward will offered on March 10. In this day-long workshop, a nationally recognized attorney and local expert will focus on Medicaid / health care planning and business agreements. It is meant to help answer some questions as families move forward with the estate / business transition plan for their farms. Keeping the Farm Transfer Ball Rolling will be offered on April 2 . This half day session will help farm family members create and/or review an action plan to keep their farm transfer planning rolling. Speakers will include Dave Gott, licensed social worker and family consultant, and Kathy Ruhf and Bob Bernstein from Land for Good, Inc., a nonprofit that offers assistance (including farm transfer planning) to owners of working lands across the region. They will help participants home in on their goals, get a fresh approach to the tasks at hand, and go home with a renewed sense of direction. For a brochure, please visit the web at www.uvm.edu/landlinkvt or contact the UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture at (802) 656-0233 or (802) 656-5459. Anyone requiring special accommodations or scholarship help to attend, should call (802) 656-0233.

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