USDA encourages current farmers to work with aspiring farmers to make the transition of farming more successful. Farm Journal succession expert, Kevin Spafford, explores USDA Transitions Incentive Program (TIP) and visits with farm families about the importance of the next generation in Episode 12 of "Leave a Legacy TV
The program began because congress recognized, while writing the 2008 Farm Bill, the farming population is making it vital young people can enter the profession, according to Kathleen Merrigan, Deputy Secretary of USDA.
With TIP, a retiring farmer who has CRP acreage expiring can continue to receive payments for two years if that land is transitioned over to a non-relative beginning farmer. They can farm that land, whether in organic production, EQUIP or the conservation stewardship program. The retiring farmer doesn’t lose income and it gives starting farmers a rare opportunity to start farming.
How does the retiring farmer find a young person?
People find out about the program through USDA Field Offices. Field Service Agencies are currently in charge of making the program grow, but there is room for Universities to help. Extension agents could play a major role in matching the right retiring farmer with a young producer.