Workshop series honored

Left to right: Rex Linville (Piedmont Environmental Council) Mike Lachance, Peter Callan (Virginia Cooperative Extension); Becky McCoy, Julie King, Adam Downing (VCE) and Mike Santucci (VDOF).

The Forest Transition Planning Workshop Focusing on Land Transfer to Generation NEXT was honored with this year’s Changing Roles Leadership Award presented by the Southern Group of State Foresters.

Focusing on Land Transfer to Generation NEXT is an annual 12-hour in-depth short course. The program draws from national curricula and utilizes the expertise of private legal and financial professionals, conservation specialists and extension agents who have developed new material and initiated participant planning.

Since its inception in 2009, 123 individuals representing 64 family units have completed the program. Follow-up surveys revealed that 77 percent of the participants had begun forestland transition planning, resulting in an estimated average family savings of $625,000. More than 42,000 acres of Virginia’s forestland are expected to remain sustainable, family-owned and intact as a direct outcome of the program.

Financial support for the workshops is made possible through VDACS’ annual Farm Transition Grant and numerous sponsors, including Virginia Forest Landowner Education Program, Virginia Tree Farm Committee, local Farm Bureaus, Piedmont Environmental Council, Bradley-Murphy Extension Trust, Ballyshannon Fund, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Conservation Partners, Valley Conservation Council, the Shenandoah Valley Network and the Virginia Forestry Association.

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