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- DescriptionA monumental transfer of farmland is occurring in the United States. The average American farmer is fifty-eight years old, and the 40 percent of farmland owners who lease their land to others are even older: sixty-six on average. Five times as many farmers are over sixty-five as are under thirty-five. What will happen to this land? Who will own it? What if one child wants to farm but can't afford to buy out the nfarming siblings? What if keeping the farm in the family means foregoing the significant profits that could be earned from selling it? These sometimes painful and divisive questions confront many farmers and farmland owners today. How they answer them will shape their families and the land for generations to come. The Farm Legacy Letter project, developed by the member-driven nprofit Practical Farmers of Iowa, is designed to help farmers and farmland owners think about their farm's future and talk about it with their families. An essential complement to handbooks on business succession, this book gathers the letters and stories of midwestern families about the land they cherish-how they acquired it, what they treasure most about it, and their hopes for its future. Some of the writers descend from families who have owned a particular patch of the earth since the 1800s, while others became farmland owners more recently-one as recently as 2015. Some are longer farmland owners at all, because-after careful thought about what mattered most to them-they sold their land to the next generation of farmers. All of these writers hope that, by sharing their farmland legacies, they will encourage others to ponder and then write about the histories, accomplishments, challenges, and hopes for their farmland for the generations who come after they are gone.
- Author BiographyTeresa Opheim has worked for the Iowa Environmental Council, the Environmental Law Institute, and the US Environmental Protection Agency. She led the Midwest Sustainable Agriculture Working Group before serving as the executive director of Practical Farmers of Iowa from 2006 to 2016. Opheim is coauthor of Our National Wetland Heritage. She continues to work on farm transfer issues from her home in the Twin Cities.
- PublisherUniversity of Iowa Press
- Date of Publication30/09/2016
- SubjectAgriculture & Farming
- Place of PublicationIowa
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintUniversity of Iowa Press
- Content Note28 black & white photographs
- Weight227 g
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
- Spine13 mm
- Edited byTeresa Opheim
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