The 2017 Census of Agriculture said the average age of Nebraska’s agricultural producers was 56.4 years, two years higher than the 54.3 years reported in 2012.
The Census also said 60 percent of Nebraska’s producers were over age 55 and 31 percent were over the age of 65. Nebraska agriculture will be undergoing a significant transition over the next two decades as one generation retires from farming and ranching, and another takes over. Transitioning from one generation to the next is never easy within any organization. Because farms and ranches are family-owned, transitions can be exponentially more difficult.
The UNL Department of Agricultural Economics and Nebraska Extension recognize this and are offering online video resources to assist producers with farm and ranch succession. The resources are targeted to agricultural landowners, ranchers and farmers thinking about retiring, exiting or transferring the farm or ranch and cover topics like the importance of planning, proper family communication and negotiating, as well as estate planning and financial strategies. The 12-video series was developed by Allan Vyhnalek, an extension educator who specializes in farm succession. The video segments and other resources on farm and ranch succession may be found at agecon.unl.edu/succession. Transitions and change are almost always bumpy. Hopefully, the video series can help smooth the path for many Nebraska agricultural families.