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Transition Truths: Taking Over an Established Farm Business

October 13, 2018 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm


You found your dream farm, and everything is already set up! The current owners are looking to retire, and they want YOU to take over the operation. Sounds too good to be true, right?

Believe it or not, there are many established farms out there without successors lined up, and one of them might be the perfect fit for you. But before you go jumping into an established business, you need to know the realities of what it means to run a business that has already been in operation for years, even decades. Besides the steep learning curve and the heightened expectations of your customer base, not to mention those of the retiring owner, there will be inevitable growing pains as you mold the farm to your own vision.

But, for those willing to dive in, get dirty and learn, the rewards can be great. It’s no less difficult a path than starting from scratch, but if handled well, transitioning can be an incredible growth opportunity for the fledgling farmer, as many retiring owners are willing and able to provide a treasure trove of experience and advice.

Claire and Rusty Orner of Quiet Creek Herb Farm & School of Country Living, which is itself in the early stages of transitioning to new owners, will share the daily realities of running an established and respected farm business, and explain what an incoming steward can expect when taking over such an operation.

Image credit: Quiet Creek Herb Farm & School of Country Living


Claire and Rusty Orner have been stewards of Quiet Creek Herb Farm & School of Country Living since 1996. Combined, the Orners have over 40 years of teaching experience and 60 years of organic farming experience. The Orners are dedicated to educating people of all ages about the importance of conservation, ecological thinking, and healthful living. Quiet Creek is a 30-acre organic farm located just north of Brookville in Jefferson and Clarion Counties, Pennsylvania. Quiet Creek raises vegetables, fruits, herbs, mushrooms and flowers.

Additional information

  • This event qualifies for one SmartStart credit through AgChoice Farm Credit. SmartStart allows young and beginning farmers to earn credits toward a reduced interest rate on a new AgChoice loan by attending educational events.
  • This is a CRAFT event. CRAFT (Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training) events are designed for aspiring and beginning farmers, but can nonetheless provide valuable opportunities for experienced farmers to glean insights from their peers.


Take a look at our frequently asked questions about our workshops and events. Otherwise, please contact this event’s coordinator, Dan Dalton, by email at dan@pasafarming.org or by phone at (814) 349-9856 x710.


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Date: Sat, October 13, 2018

Time: 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Location: Quiet Creek Herb Farm
93 Quiet Creek Lane
Brookville, PA 15825

Cost: Free Register Now

Event Category: PASA Events