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Farm First helping families hand off business to new owners, next generation

Published: Apr. 17, 2022 at 8:14 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - As Vermont enters the planting season, there will be some new generations or new owners at the helm of some farms.

That transition from one owner to another or from one generation to another can be tricky, but there are resources to help.

Farm First is an organization that supports farmers as they navigate mental health struggles and agricultural hardships. Leaders say the process requires thoughtfulness, and Farm First provides extra support from business planning to mediation.

Director Karen Crowley says the transitions can happen progressively. Farmers don’t have to hang up their hats for good all at once.

“So oftentimes it’s about being with people and helping them to get comfortable talking with each other about real issues and kind of laying out some ground rules so that people feel safer, taking things slow, being there to put on the brakes if things get too emotional for anybody. Those are important steps, and those don’t all happen at a magical meeting where everything just gets worked out,” Crowley said.

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