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The Problem of Farmland Succession

Harvest Public Media

Is there a way to match older farmers who want to retire, with young people hoping to get started in farming ? That's the topic for a panel discussion on Monday in Davenport, called News and Brews, sponsored by the Illinois Newsroom collaborative and Harvest Public Media.

Madelyn Beck is a reporter for both, based in Galesburg, who recently did series on farmland succession. She says everyone she talked to said it's a huge problem.

"I'm trying to bridge this gap of older farmers who might not have someone to pass their property on to, or trying to figure out farmland succession, and younger farmers who are trying to find property, trying to find a place to start out."

Beck says Iowa has well-organized programs to match older farmers with younger, would-be farmers, but Illinois does not.

She'll moderate the discussion that'll feature two people from Iowa State University Extension, including one who runs a program called AgLink, and someone from the Farmland Access Hub.

News and Brews will be held Monday night from 6 to 7:30 pm, at Me and Billy in downtown Davenport (200 West Third St.). 

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.