Mediation Director completes training and certification exam by International Farm Transition Network
Judith Ogden, Mediation Director for NCAMP and FARMVA, recently completed a training course and exam offered by IFTN.
Cullowhee, NC – Feb. 10, 2022 – Judith Ogden, Mediation Director for both North Carolina Agricultural Mediation Program (NCAMP) and Farm Agricultural Resources and Mediation of Virginia (FARMVA), completed the Certified Farm Succession Coordinator program offered by the International Farm Transition Network (IFTN). The training program works to position professionals with the skills necessary for the Farm Business Succession Planning process. As a part of the IFTN network continues to build on the mission of NCAMP and FARMVA to offer agricultural mediation support to settle disputes between USDA agencies and those in the agricultural community.
The Certified Farm Succession Coordinator Training focuses on succession planning, which includes management transfer, inheritance issues, and strengthening interpersonal communication skills. The IFTN began the training program in 2012 after finding several issues with the succession process and a need for agriculture service professionals with the knowledge of succession planning.
According to the IFTN, “agriculture needs the next generation of operators to be able to enter the profession efficiently and successfully given the enormous amount of farmland set to change hands in the coming decades. Barriers to entry and successful transition, however, pose a threat to farm businesses’ survival.” Ogden will be able to utilize her training during mediation sessions as well as being able to assist with common challenges during succession planning like:
- Insufficient farm entry strategies
- Insufficient farm succession and retirement strategies
- Difficulty in identifying viable farm entry opportunities
- Difficulty in obtaining appropriate financial, managerial, and production assistance for the entering and exiting parties
- Lack of community support and rural development emphasis
“This training was as thorough a program as I could have asked for. It addressed the many issues that arise during Farm Succession Planning and being a member of IFTN will be a wonderful resource,” said Ogden.
The training program gives insight into the barriers to farm succession, strategies for working with families as they navigate farm succession, facilitation tools to guide the process, and opportunities to consider real-life examples of farm succession case studies. The knowledge gained from the IFTN will allow Ogden to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of NCAMP and FARMVA by further assisting in farm succession mediation and other mediation cases.
Debra Burke, Executive Director of NCAMP and FARMVA, states, “farm succession mediation examines the viability of the farming operation when considering accumulated debt, determining an equitable succession plan, or to discuss family partition issues. Additionally, succession planning may involve evaluating the farm’s resources, discussing transfer tools, selecting a legal entity for operations, as well as considering possible operating and lease agreements.” Ogden’s new knowledge of Farm Succession Planning will continue to expand through future conferences and seminars to assist in NCAMP and FARMVA’s mediation services.
NCAMP and FARMVA
NCAMP and FARMVA are grant-funded programs for North Carolina and Virginia that provide agriculture mediation services involving disputes with USDA agencies and those in the agricultural community. Mediation offers a confidential, voluntary, impartial setting to solve disputes in a timely and cost-effective manner.
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