While Goeller promotes Nebraska’s Network for Beginning Farmers, other states may also have similar programs that help connect young farmers with retiring farmers in an effort to ensure business succession, rather than business liquidation. He compares it to the Internet dating service E-Harmony, and says both young and old need to fill out a profile that can be matched with the other member of the potential couple. In Nebraska it is up to the parties to contact each other and begin to work on their mutual interests. Goeller notes that a matching service is an important part of the equation, and it is almost impossible for any success to be achieved, if there is not some outside help from a neutral third party.

In Nebraska, as in other states with similar matching services, there are many more would-be successors than retiring farmers. Goeller says Iowa reports there are 10 would-be farmers for every one farmer who plans to retire.

Summary

Today’s agriculture has a wealth of older farmers who may want to retire, but have no one to carry on their business. It also has many younger would-be farmers who want to farm, but have no financial way of climbing into a farm operation. Third party networks have been successful in matching potential operators with those who want to leave active farming. Planning is a necessary element needed to guarantee success.