Center for Farm Transitions

situation
strategy
solution

Modern farming is a demanding, capital intensive, and highly competitive industry that requires an enormous commitment from the individuals who practice it as a career. In the face of those challenges, most active farmers are too busy running their operations to adequately prepare for the succession or transition of their farm to the next generation. As a result, proactive tools and resources are desperately needed to help farmers prepare for the future. The Center for Farm Transitions is a strategic initiative of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture in cooperation with Pennsylvania Farm Link and the Chester County Economic Development Council, designed to help fill the gap for resources and services to support farm transition planning. The Center's challenge is to create resources that help farmers prepare for the future, and encourage new individuals to enter farming.

The Center and Pennsylvania Farm Link hired Wendt Partners for a comprehensive two-phase engagement. In the first phase, Wendt Partners developed a series of topical essays for farmers to use as quick references for key transition issues, and supported them with an enhanced brand identity and a new online resource center and website. In the second phase, the Center and Farm Link asked Wendt Partners to research, write, design and publish a definitive 150+ page transition planning guide complete with references, case studies, a terminology glossary, and planning exercises to guide farmers through the process. In addition, the successful partnership with Pennsylvania Farm Link was leveraged for added support thanks to the diverse and in-depth expertise of the Farm Link board.

The Center benefited from Wendt Partners’ expertise in curriculum development and public communication strategy. The new guide incorporates best practices collected from research in the United States and abroad, and is supported with an integrated communication program that helps farmers feel comfortable with the planning process. “Wendt Partners has given this initiative a clear strategic direction, comprehensive content, and consistent program support throughout the engagement,” says Diane Matthews-Gehringer, President of Pennsylvania Farm Link. “They know how to work with agency staff and other stakeholders to create solutions and make critical programs work. As a result of their efforts, inquiries from farmers in need of these transition planning services increased. Their strategies are allowing us to achieve our mission.”

Sectors:

Economic Development, Nonprofit

Services:

Strategic Consulting, Branding & Messaging, Organizational Development, Integrated Communications

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Wendt Partners has given this initiative a clear strategic direction, comprehensive content, and consistent program support throughout the engagement. They know how to work with staff and stakeholders to create solutions and make critical programs work. Their strategies are allowing us to achieve our mission.
Diane Matthews-Gehringer, President, Pennsylvania Farm Link

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