University of Maryland Extension

University Receives Grant to Support Maryland Farmers with Farm Transition Planning

New grant will help Maryland farmers better understand business planning and the basics of farm succession planning.
Image Credit: 
Edwin Remsburg

College Park, MD – USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the Northeast Risk Management Education Center recently awarded a grant of over $42,000 to University of Maryland College Park’s Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources to fund estate and transition planning resources for Maryland family farmers.

These funds will support a variety of resources to help Maryland farmers better understand business planning and the basics of farm succession planning. According to Kelly Nuckolls Winslow, Project Director, “This grant will fund webinars, in-person presentations, and publications for farmers to read on their own time. Sometimes individuals can’t make a workshop or a webinar, so we’re providing multiple ways for farmers to get this important information.”

The grant will fund two farm succession workshops at two locations along Maryland’s eastern shore, including speakers from the University of Maryland Extension, the Agriculture Law Education Initiative, the Maryland Department of Agriculture, Nationwide Insurance, and the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay.  

In addition to these workshops, Winslow and Extension Legal Specialist Paul Goeringer, a co-project director, will partner with Mid Atlantic Women in Agriculture to provide interactive educational resources for the pre-conference for the popular annual Women in Agriculture Conference.

The grant will also support four classes on farm succession planning for Annie’s Project participants. Annie’s Project is a national program designed to empower women in agriculture. In Maryland, Mid Atlantic Women in Agriculture has sponsored Annie’s Project since 2008. Each class will be provided in one of four regions across the state.

Other projects supported by the grant include a series of webinars within the Women in Agriculture Wednesday Webinar Series which will be available on the University of Maryland Extension Farm Succession Planning page, and three new publications to help family farmers understand the laws and strategies to begin the farm transition planning process.  

Goeringer has provided many workshops on the topic of farm succession planning. “This is not a topic many families want to discuss, what happens to the farm when dad and mom pass away? Although a difficult topic, having it before it is too late can provide the family with the ability to carry the farm on to the next generation. These workshops and webinars will help current owners and successors understand how to start the process and begin developing a succession plan to continue the farm on to future generations.”

The Agriculture Law Education Initiative (ALEI) provides legal education resources to Maryland family farmers to help them successfully navigate the laws which impact their operations.

ALEI is a collaboration of the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB); the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP); and the School of Agricultural and Natural Sciences at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES). 

ALEI is an initiative of the University of Maryland Strategic Partnership: MPowering the State, a collaboration between the state of Maryland’s two most powerful public research institutions: UMB and UMCP. It leverages the sizable strengths and complementary missions of both institutions to strengthen Maryland’s innovation economy, advance interdisciplinary research, create opportunities for students, and solve important problems for the people of Maryland and the nation.

This material is based upon work supported by USDA/NIFA under Award Number 2015-49200-24225.

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