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Pennsylvania Farm Link helps new farmers get started

Young Farmer Podcast: Michelle Kirk discusses the group’s work "linking farmers to the future."

Chris Torres, Editor, American Agriculturist

June 10, 2020

Farmers National Co. has estimated that 70% of farmland will transfer ownership over the next 20 years.

For younger farmers this might look a great opportunity, but buying farmland is one of the biggest hurdles that young farmers face. Farmland is expensive, and the transactions are complicated.

Pennsylvania Farm Link is a nonprofit dedicated to “linking farmers to the future.” The organization does this through an online database that links young farmers to land that's available, and by offering educational workshops for landowners and beginning farmers.

In this episode of the Young Farmer Podcast, Michelle Kirk, the eastern Pennsylvania associate for Pennsylvania Farm Link, talks about the program’s multiprong mission to not only be a database of for-sale farms, but also a source for farmers to learn more about farm succession planning and beginning farmer resources.

Visit Pennsylvania Farm Link to learn more.

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About the Author(s)

Chris Torres

Editor, American Agriculturist

Chris Torres, editor of American Agriculturist, previously worked at Lancaster Farming, where he started in 2006 as a staff writer and later became regional editor. Torres is a seven-time winner of the Keystone Press Awards, handed out by the Pennsylvania Press Association, and he is a Pennsylvania State University graduate.

Torres says he wants American Agriculturist to be farmers' "go-to product, continuing the legacy and high standard (former American Agriculturist editor) John Vogel has set." Torres succeeds Vogel, who retired after 47 years with Farm Progress and its related publications.

"The news business is a challenging job," Torres says. "It makes you think outside your small box, and you have to formulate what the reader wants to see from the overall product. It's rewarding to see a nice product in the end."

Torres' family is based in Lebanon County, Pa. His wife grew up on a small farm in Berks County, Pa., where they raised corn, soybeans, feeder cattle and more. Torres and his wife are parents to three young boys.

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