The heartbeat of American agriculture is transforming — over 70 percent of farms will change ownership hands during the next twenty years. With the average age of the American farmer now in their late fifties, and a growing crop of young people eager to commit to agriculture careers, today’s established and experienced farmers stand in a pivotal role to lead this next generation to be successful farmers. Different than other professions, farming is not a typical ‘job’ that you can simply walk away from one day when you decide to retire. Our nation’s family farms include a rich history and commitment built over years and even generations. Farm transitions therefore can not and, frankly, should not take place quickly; rather, transitions must be a thoughtful process that engages everyone involved. Renewing the Countryside and the Sustainable Farming Association of Minnesota are developing a cornucopia of helpful tools to assist farmers in navigating their farm’s transition. We’re starting a bimonthly newsletter, creating a monthly radio program, and an online clearinghouse of resources on this topic.

Brett-for-staff-page-150x150Farm Transitions Radio is hosted by Brett Olson – Brett previously hosted a live radio program Local Food Hero and has presented extensively on rural communities, farming and local foods in Minnesota and nationally. Brett grew up in small rural communities throughout the Midwest. Summers were often spent at the wheel of a windrower on neighbors’ farms. Brett and his family recently moved on to a former dairy farm in Zumbro Falls, Minnesota.


#1: Interview with Jan Joannides, Executive Director of Renewing the Countryside and John Mesko, Executive Director of the Sustainable Farming Association. We discuss how and why the Farm Transitions project was started.

Farm Transitions :: Jan Joannides & John Mesko

For more information about RTC and SFA you can check out the following links:

#2: Interview with John Baker.

Farm Transitions :: John Baker

For more information on the International Farm Transition Network and their goal to support programs that foster the next generation of farmers and ranchers click on the following link:

#3: Interview with Kent Solberg.

Farm Transitions :: Kent Solburg

#4: Interview with Gary Hachfeld. Hachfeld is a University of Minnesota Extension educator with 40 years of experience in agricultural business management. Hachfeld specializes in working with farm transitions and estate planning. In this interview we talk about long term health care insurance and how it can be part of a Farm Transitions strategy.

Farm Transitions :: Gary Hatchfield #1

#5: Interview with Gary Hachfeld.  In this interview we talk about different farm business structures and how they can be part of a Farm Transitions strategy.

Farm Transitions :: Gary Hatchfield #2

#6: Interview with Gary Hachfeld.  In this interview we talk about probate and how it can effect a Farm Transitions strategy.

Farm Transitions :: Gary Hatchfield #3