Join us for the Organic Elders and the Next Generation Pre-Conference at EcoFarm!

Join us for California FarmLink and CCOF’s Organic Elders and the Next Generation: Planning for Succession Conference

An EcoFarm Pre-Conference: Wednesday, January 20, 2016, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Asilomar Conference Grounds, Pacific Grove, CA

In 2016 California FarmLink and CCOF are launching the Organic Elders and the Next Generation Project. Together with organic industry partners, our organizations are planning a multi-year campaign to create farmland and business succession strategies for the agrarian elder-founders of California's organic agriculture movement, while also helping young farmers get ready to take on organic operations. The project will offer an ecosystem of farm transition services, including farm succession planning; business, land financing, and conservation easement strategies; and linking and mentoring that will allow the next generation of organic farmers to learn, grow, and invest in proven farm operations.

The first phase of this project will focus on research, mapping the organic elders, and a farmer needs assessment. Successive phases will involve direct technical assistance, education, and facilitation of organic farm succession.

Join California FarmLink and CCOF at this EcoFarm Pre-Conference and help us launch this program! Connect with resources to create a successful succession plan for your organic operation. This pre-conference is both for beginner organic farmers and retiring organic farmers.

Pre-Conference Schedule:

9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.: Farmers and project partners will gather for a facilitated session to provide the framework for, gather input on, and shape the Organic Elders and the Next Generation Project. We will present information from initial research and surveys. Farmers will share succession success stories.

1:00 – 4:30 p.m.: Speakers including organic elders, young farmers, and succession planning experts will describe specific succession planning tools and strategies for retirement planning, business operations and management transfer, business structures and valuation, passing down land and other assets, tax demystification, and key elements of effective family communications, and goal setting.

Registration Price: $50 (organic lunch included)
Register at:

About the Speakers:

Rod Carter runs Agriculture and Business Professionals, Inc., providing a broad array of business development and succession planning assistance to farmers, ranchers, and agri-businesses. Prior to starting his own consulting business, Rod spent 15 years with the Business Consulting Division of Northern California Farm Credit. A native of eastern Colorado, Rod earned a bachelor’s degree in agriculture education and a master’s degree in agricultural business at Colorado State University. He draws on more than 30 years’ experience in primary and adult education, farm and ranch management, organizational development, and operating his own agricultural businesses.

Rod is a member of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers and earned their Accredited Farm Manager (AFM) designation in 1984. He is also an active member of the American Society of Agricultural Consultants. He has also served as Executive Director of the Colorado Agricultural Leadership Council, a private, non-profit organization chartered to enlarge the pool of trained leaders available to serve agriculture.

Rod has helped hundreds of clients advance their business and personal objectives in northern and central California. His work has also included facilitating board development, and strategic and business planning programs for Farm Credit Associations in six states.

Kendra Johnson has worked with retiring farmers at California FarmLink as a staff member, board member, and consultant for over a decade, facilitating lease and business agreements, business planning, family communication, and providing links to estate planning resources. She has developed curriculum for and presented at two dozen farm succession planning workshops. Her professional focus over the last several years has been on farm preservation tools including innovative agricultural conservation easements and long-term equity leases—tools which can help facilitate agrarian elders’ retirement and farm legacy goals.

About the Hosts:

California FarmLink: FarmLink has been providing farm succession planning educational workshops, conferences, tools, and advising for 15 years in California, and has cultivated a network of professionals including estate planning attorneys, farm accountants, business development specialists, family communications facilitators, and land trusts to help California farmers pass business assets and management to the next generation. The project will create the greatest impact by identifying and targeting those established organic operations that would most benefit from succession assistance.

CCOF: As one of the nation’s largest organic certifiers, CCOF (California Certified Organic Farmers) has helped organic farmers flourish in California and across the country for more than forty years. The CCOF Foundation—the 501 (c)(3) non-profit arm of CCOF, seeks to increase the amount of land that’s farmed organically. CCOF recognizes that in order to grow the amount of land that is farmed organically, we must assist the retiring generation of organic farmers in creating succession plans that keep their land in organic production. To that end, CCOF will use its vast network of organic farmers to map the organic farmers who may need succession tools in the coming years. The CCOF Foundation assists in succession workshops through its Organic Training Institute, which helps over 500 producers a year through workshops, field days, and webinars, and also by connecting recipients of its Future Organic Farmer Grant Fund awards with retiring organic farmers.