Workshop topics

Thursday is the registration deadline for the SDSU Extension workshop series for next-generation land seekers

According to the USDA’s 2017 Census of Agriculture, about 30% of South Dakota farmers and ranchers are 65 or older. Moreover, one in four producers is a novice farmer with 10 years of experience or less. Due to the difficulty of finding farmland, new producers often have smaller-than-average operations, both in terms of acres and production value.

“Whether renting or buying, securing access to farmland continues to be a major barrier for newcomers and preventing a generation of farmers and producers from entering the industry,” said Heather Gessner, livestock business management field specialist at SDSU Extension.

Following a series of well-attended workshops in 2020 and 2021 on these issues, a third year of the program will be organized for people with some farming or ranching experience who are actively seeking land.

The eight-week Farmland for the Next Generation program will begin on September 1, 2022 and will run every Thursday through October 20 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. CST.

The workshop series will be conducted as an interactive webinar featuring discussions, worksheets, and ongoing assessment of each participant’s current situation. Topics covered throughout the program will include an introduction to land tenure, financial preparation, land tenure options, finding land, valuing land, renting land, buying land land and estate planning.

“This program is hands-on, so participants will go out and apply what they’ve learned in these sessions, then report back throughout the series,” Gessner said.

Gessner was one of 25 experienced agricultural educators and service providers across the country in the inaugural class of Land Access Trainers. She presents the series as part of the American Farmland Trust’s Farmland for the Next Generation project.

The registration cost is $50 for two people. Those interested in participating should register before August 25 on the SDSU Extension Events web page.

The Farmland for the Next Generation program is supported by a USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program grant.

For more information, contact Heather Gessner, SDSU Extension Livestock Business Management Field Specialist, at [email protected] or 605-782-3290.