You are here

Organic Elders and the Next Generation: Planning for Succession

Pre-Conference 9:00am – 5:00pm

Many farmers will retire in the next 10 years and are struggling with the questions: "How can I retire and how will I pass my knowledge to the next generation?" At the same time, young farmers are asking, "How can I get started, and build on what the elders have accomplished?"

We invite farmers of all generations to join California FarmLink and organic industry partners to explore options and learn about farmland and business succession strategies.

In the morning, farmers and stakeholders will gather for a facilitated discussion of key succession issues and challenges, transition needs, and new ideas and approaches to shape and provide the framework for FarmLink's new Organic Elders Succession project.

After lunch, succession planning experts will present tools and strategies for retirement planning; business transitions, family communications and goal setting; passing down land and other assets; tax demystification; transitioning to non-heir successors; and mentoring new farmers. California FarmLink will discuss creative financing opportunities. Then farmers, families, and advisors will work together in small groups.

Registration: $50 (organic lunch included)

Scholarships are available.
Questions? Interested in a scholarship?
Please call Mika Maekawa: 831.425.0303 Ext. 7022 or e-mail:


Thank you to the UNFI Foundation, FarmAid, and the Clif Bar Family Foundation for supporting the Organic Elders and the Next Generation project.

In winter 2014, a group of pioneering organic farmers, coined as Agrarian Elders in a New York Times article, gathered on the California coast to discuss "a national emergency"- the greying American farmer. From 2007 to 2012, the average age of the California farmer rose to 57 years and the number of California farmers over 65 grew nearly 20%, while the state lost over 6,000 beginning farmers, a 23% decrease. FarmLink is planning a long-term effort to create farmland and business succession strategies and develop an ecosystem of farm transition services that will enable the next generation of organic farmers to learn, grow and invest in proven farm operation.


Date and Location




Thank you to our EcoFarm 2019 sponsors!