Northeast Ag is strong and vibrant
Bob Smith, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs and Knowledge Exchange from Farm Credit East recently send out an update on a variety of subjects of interest to farmers.
The update reports that: Northeast agriculture is a strong and vibrant part of our economy. Recently Farm Credit East brought together three experts, with different perspectives, to discuss Northeast Agriculture – The Next Ten Years. Farm Credit East CEO, Bill Lipinski, moderated this discussion between Kathryn Boor, Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University; Dr. David Kohl, Professor Emeritus, Agricultural Finance and Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship, Virginia Tech; and Chuck Conner, CEO and President, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives.
In this 18-minute video Dr. David Kohl stated that 85% of Americans are two generations removed from the farm. The farm community has a huge challenge to share their stories and practices. Every farmer should have a profit plan and “better is better before bigger is better.” Demographics of young urban and suburban families are different than in the past and this affords new opportunities for farmers.
Dean Boor believes that innovations in new value-added products, particularly dairy (as we have seen recently in the boom of Greek yoghurt consumption), horticulture and timber offer economic opportunities for farmers.
Farm Credit East CEO Bill Lipinski stressed that leadership qualities will decide the success of farmer entrepreneurs: how farmers approach their business vision will dictate how successful they will be.
Other items of interest in the update: Agriculture and the Estate Tax reviews the implications of the estate tax on farm businesses. The federal estate tax exemption reverts back to $1 million and a 55% rate on January 1, 2013 unless Congress takes action. The current exemption level is over $5 million and the rate is 35%. Financial Benchmarking for Agriculture provides basic benchmarks for vegetables, fruit, nursery, greenhouse, cash field crops, hay and dairy.