Buying the family farm…yea or nay?

Transitioning the farm from one generation to the next is high stress and can be both financially and emotionally complicated. This young farmer needs some advice!

Robyn asks:

Our farm is entering is 10th season. We are certified organic and grow 8 acres (in vegetable production) for a 200-member CSA, farmers' market, farm store and a little wholesale. I am 33-years old and currently managing the farm full time. My mom and dad are in their mid 60's and ready to move from the farm. We are laying out the groundwork for me to purchase the house and buildings (2.5 acres) and lease the land (total of 16 acres). The division makes more financial sense for me personally. I am super nervous about making this decision. Has anyone out there ever been in this situation or something similar and would like to share some insight?

Does going from the farm manager to the farm owner improve the connection to the farm or make it tougher? I already handle all the financial planning, employee management and marketing related to the operation. My biggest fear is the financial stability of the farm business and making sure it stays working. So far we have done well and our growth is measurable. But a perfect picture of financial stability? I don't think so. But is that ever the case? How unstable is too unstable? I know these are all answers I need to discover for myself but I thought I would just throw the topic out there and see if anyone else feels like rambling.

Give Robyn some farmer-to-farmer advice...

Photo by Don O'Brien/Flickr.

One Response to “Buying the family farm…yea or nay?”

  1. Mike Mcpeek

    Robyn, you are doing everything now, so what is your problem? I think you are not wanting to surrender the security of your parents purse strings. Welcome to the real world, work hard and use your head and you will be just fine.


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