Our latest Texas Land Trends report examines Texas’ changing and aging landowners and potentially the largest intergenerational land transfer in its history. Landowners at retirement age (65 years and older) make up 39 percent of the entire landowner base, surpassed only by those in the age group 45-64 years old (49 percent). National ownership and tenure survey data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service’s Census of Agriculture indicates that the majority of soon-to-be-transferred lands will likely pass through wills, potentially to younger generations (grandparent to grandchild) who may have less experience or financial capital needed to take over family operations.
What does this mean for farms and ranches of Texas? While trend data and information cannot predict the decisions landowners will make when planning their estate or the land management decisions that will be made after the transfer, it does highlight the need to provide services and resources to help landowners, both old and new, during this critical transition period, to ensure the continued conservation of our state’s working lands. Current landowners may find helpful one of the many estate planning resources provided by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, such as this 12-part video series. New landowners also have a variety of resources available, generally targeting specific needs, including financial support, how-to assistance and disabilities and chronic illness resources.