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Kentucky Farm Bureau Initiative Addresses Loss of Farm Acreage Across the State

On April 9, Kentucky Farm Bureau announced the launch of its new Kentucky Farmland Transition Initiative. The KFTI is a strategic project focused on helping farm families find ways to keep their acreage in active agricultural production as they consider the future of that land.

The need for efforts like the KFTI increases each year, but that importance was highlighted when the recently released 2022 USDA Census of Agriculture revealed that Kentucky lost 17,000 farms and 1.4 million acres of farmland over the last 20 years.

KFB has also created an online resource through the KFTI to help farm families navigate the land ownership transition process. The new website – kyfarmlandtransition.com – will connect farmers to a variety of resources and assistance providers who make the transition more understandable and achievable.

Eddie Melton, Kentucky Farm Bureau president, said Kentucky’s farm families are looking for ways to keep farmland in active production, and this initiative will help support them in that goal.

“With the loss of land we are seeing in the Commonwealth, now is the time to start these conversations and find ways to get these families connected to the resources they need,” Melton continued. “There are already several great resources available in Kentucky that we want to make sure people know about, but, through this Initiative, we will also engage directly with those involved in transition planning to see what else is needed and could be developed.”

The KFTI launches with three main objectives:

  • Increase public education about and involvement in farmland transition;
  • Gather and provide technical assistance and localized resources to assist families who desire to transition farmland; and
  • Pursue state and federal policy development that will help keep production agriculture at the forefront of farmland transition and ease common burdens associated with that process.

Increasing awareness of the shrinking acreage devoted to agriculture in Kentucky is a key component to improving conditions for farmland transition. As such, the KFTI website will house numerous local resources on the subject and give Kentuckians a way to provide feedback about the growing needs of the initiative itself. Stories of new farm ownership and transitioning challenges will be shared online to help steer farm families through the process, and other organizations and businesses are invited to join the KFTI Network to share their expertise, upcoming events and resources related to farmland transition planning.

The KFTI website will connect visitors to technical assistance and information provided by attorneys, CPAs and others working with farmers on land ownership changes. This online resource will grow as Kentucky farm families use the site to submit their thoughts on further programs and assistance needed so the KFTI Network can assess and locate additional resources to meet those needs.

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