At a time when Vermont farms are facing downturns in prices and markets — and most are challenged to be profitable — farms are also set to transfer to new ownership at an unprecedented rate. The majority of Vermont farmers do not have a succession plan in place, and many do not have an identified successor. Of Vermont farmers 65 and older, 92% have no one under 45 working under them, and relatively few incoming farmers are interested in or prepared to assume responsibility for large-scale operations. This may lead to a change in the agricultural landscape that has not been seen for many generations, including a significant decrease in the amount of land in active agricultural use, land lying fallow for years or developed for other uses, and a setback in the amount of food produced in the state.
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