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HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania producers may benefit from a series of free workshops focused on farm profitability and transition at the 2009 Pennsylvania Farm Show, Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff said today.

The workshops, hosted by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s Center for Farm Transitions, will be held from 10 a.m. to noon on Monday, Jan. 12 and Friday, Jan. 16, in the Pennsylvania Room of the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center in Harrisburg.

“The agricultural industry has an abundance of profitable business opportunities,” said Wolff.  “In order to take advantage of these opportunities, producers need to understand the complexities of production, marketing, finance and business planning.  These workshops are designed to equip producers with tools to navigate and take advantage of the opportunities awaiting their operations.”

New and beginning farmers, or those considering a career in farming, can learn about a variety of opportunities on Jan. 12, including:
• 10 a.m. – Gaining Access to Land Strategies, including Leasing
• 10:30 a.m. – Finding Money to Begin, Sustain or Expand Your Operation
• 11 a.m. – Understanding Production Costs
• 11:30 a.m. – Understanding Your Future Direction
Producers transitioning their operations to the next generation may benefit from the second series of workshops offered Jan. 16, including:
• 10 a.m. – Planning for Retirement, Even With a Late Start
• 10:30 a.m. – Key Elements of a Successful Farm Succession Plan
• 11 a.m. – Strategies to Locate Your Farm’s Successor
• 11:30 a.m. – What to do with Unanticipated Wealth
The workshops are free and registration is not required.  Printed materials will be available for each of the topics discussed.

For more information about the workshops, contact Dennis Hall at 717-787-2376 or  For information regarding the Center for Farm Transitions, visit