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David Sparks Ph.d Succession planning
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Idaho Ag Today
Date: March 14, 2018

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Keeping agricultural lands in production can ultimately help provide conservation benefits. That’s the idea behind a new state program and soon-to-be formed commission:

It’s important to incentivize farmers and ranchers to support voluntary practices that are good for ag and good for the state’s natural resources. Jim Johnson is a land use specialist with the Oregon Department of Agriculture. “This is all about keeping working lands available to be used as working lands– farming, ranching, forest– with a complement of conservation related to fish and wildlife habitat.”

Johnson says one of the goals of the new program and commission is helping farmers and ranchers with succession planning: “We have a very aged agricultural population in this state and there is a lot of turnover in terms of ownership going to occur in the next 10 to 20 years, and a lot of farmers and ranchers have not done any or provided any thought in regard to how they are going to convey their land to the next generation.”

Good succession planning can help keep ag lands operating through that next generation. Another tool, conservation easements, renders the idea that farming and ranching are a good way to protect fish and wildlife habitat. “Without that farm use protection, without that forest land protection, you would have other land uses out there coming out of the development world that probably wouldn’t complement fish and wildlife habitat the way that farm and forest land do.”

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