John R Baker is the staff attorney for the Iowa Concern Hotline, an information and referral service of Iowa State University Extension Service, and is the administrator of the Beginning Farmer Center at Iowa State University.
In 1991, he created the Ag Link project, which links farmers and landowners with beginning farmers.
He is a founding member of the International Farm Transition Network and serves as the Chair of the Board of Directors.
In 1993, he drafted the legislation that created the Beginning Farmer Center and serves as its Administrator. In 1994, he initiated the Returning to the Farm seminar for those returning to the farm family business.
In 1995, he created the Farm Savvy manual that contains material on the transition of a farm business to the next generation and is widely used throughout the nation.
In 1999, Baker and Professor Andrew Errington founded the FarmTransfers international research project and serves as a co-director. This research has been conducted in several States in the United States and European Countries, Canada, Australia and Japan.
In 2004, he proposed the Beginning Farmer Tax Credit that was adopted by the Iowa Legislature. In 2012, he created the Certified Farm Business Succession Coordinator course that has certified individuals throughout the US, Canada, Ireland and New Zealand as Succession Coordinators.
He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, a Masters of Business Administration and a Juris Doctorate from Drake University in Dew Moines, Iowa.
Attorney and administrator – Beginning Farmer Center
Iowa State University
Professor Matt Lobley is director of the Centre for Rural Policy Research (CRPR) in the Politics Department, University of Exeter.
Much of his research has focused on understanding influences on, and impacts of, farm household behaviour. This includes understanding policy influences such as CAP reform and agri-environmental schemes, as well as understanding the process of agricultural restructuring and the socio-economic implications of re-localised and organic food systems.
One of his main areas of research expertise is in the family life-cycle and succession issues. With John Baker (Iowa State University), Matt co-directs a collaborative international project, FARMTRANSFERS, exploring a farm succession and retirement in a range of different social, economic and political contexts.
He is co-editor of Keeping it in the Family: International Perspectives on Succession and Retirement on Family Farms and has spoken on farm succession at a number of international conferences.
Matt regularly gives talks on succession to farming families and is currently working to deliver a range of succession-related activities, including staff training, farmer seminars and a UK-wide replication of the FARMSTRANSFERS survey, funded by NFU Mutual.
He is editor of the International Journal of Agricultural Management and is joining Richard Soffe as editor of the AGricultural Notebook, now in its third century of production.
Professor of Rural Resource Management
Director of the Centre for Rural Policy Research (CRPR)
University of Exeter
James Small is a partner in a mixed and diversified family farming business in Somerset. Just under 500 hectares on a range of owned and tenanted land in a combination of environmental agreements. Two main enterprises, a 1,400 head sheep flock managed on an ‘easy care’ system lambing outdoors in May and closed Herd of 120 spring calving cows using Pedigree Aberdeen Angus genetics. Complimentary to the farming operations is a glamping business which he runs in partnership with his wife Kate; this consists of both tents and luxury wooden lodges. They instigated formal succession planning within the business in 2012 and completed the framework by 2015. They have learned some lessons from the experience and realised that it’s a much broader subject than you might imagine.
Warren Farm, Somerset
Alison started her career on a tenanted family farm; after completing an HND in Agriculture, she moved into the agrochemical industry. Becoming a qualified trainer in her own right she ran a farmer training group for seven years. In 2006, she became the National Rural Skills and Training Adviser for the National Trust, working on specialist projects to bring in new entrants to tenanted farms.
By 2009, Alison had set up a freelance consultancy, taking on project management of the Fresh Start initiative focusing on new business start-ups and related academies. She has worked with a variety of clients including the Jersey Government and Brightcrop (the industry school careers initiative), and has been part of the facilitation team for the St. Georges House Windsor Farming Consultations.
In 2014 she created Fresh Start Land Enterprise Centre CIC (FSLEC) with her fellow directors, aiming to provide a service for the farming community which brings together business academies, mentoring and their unique Land Partnerships approach – Using Land to unlcok business innovation. In 2016, FSLEC launched the first land matching service for England bringing landowners/land agents and land entrepreneurs together to create innovative way of working with land creating new businesses via different routes.
Consultant & Managing Director
Fresh Start Land Enterprise Centre CIC
Nick heads up the Hazlewoods Farms & Estates team working closely with farmers, land owners and agriculturally related businesses.
Whether it is challenging the performance of the business or structuring the business and its ownership to minimise the impact of tax, Nick aims to provide constructive, cost effective advice. Having grown up on a farm, Nick understands the family and business issues that frequently arise and works with clients to find tax efficient solutions that will satisfy all family members.
A frequent speaker on agricultural business and tax matters, Nick also regularly contributes to the agricultural press.
John Rouse is a partner at Lodders Solicitors and has worked in the rural sector for over 20 years advising farmers, rural businesses and land owners on the transfer of land and businesses to the next generation. John has practical hands on experience of the legal and taxation implications of dealing with rural land, methods of transferring businesses and land both through lifetime planning and via wills.
John takes a holistic approach to succession planning to ensure legal and taxation aspects tie in with the nature of the business, family dynamics and personalities involved to produce a workable effective plan. John enjoys working with fellow advisers such as accountants, land agents and financial advisers to achieve a client’s objectives. As part of the succession planning process John has acted for multiple generations of businesses over a period of time providing continuity of advice.
Outside of professional practice John is involved in the wider agricultural community as director of the Kenilworth & District Agricultural Society and past Chairman and committee member of the Warwickshire Farmers Ball.
Mark has over 20 years of rural property experience including the management of rural estates, the sale and purchase of farms and farmland and a range of valuations from single properties to portfolios. His experience includes the valuation of a variety of property types, from bare land, glasshouses and rural commercial sites to landed estates and Grade I Listed buildings.
Mark has worked with a number of farming families on succession planning including advising on how to obtain commercial outcomes at the same time as creating the ability for all family members to be included in the decision making process.
Mark is a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, a RICS Registered Valuer and has aBSc (Hons) in Rural Enterprise and Land Management. Mark came to farming through the Young Farmers Clubs organisation and has through his carrier taken an interest in how farming businesses and land ownership can optimise the results obtained from the rural asset whilst retaining family links to the land.
Partner & Head of Rural – Cambridge office