Ag transition partners launch new farm succession planning approach

The project's multi-layer approach sets it apart from other planning processes

Ag Transition Partners, a group of educators and agricultural consultants, is launching a new, no-cost farm transition planning project that includes webinars, on-site or virtual coaching and action plan templates. The project's multi-layer approach sets it apart from other planning processes, better helping farm families ensure the legacy of their operations.

American Agri-Women, the nation's largest coalition of farm, ranch and agri-business women, is supporting the project, along with Michigan and Minnesota Agri-Women and Wisconsin Women for Agriculture. This project is free for participating farm families and is made possible through a grant from North Central Extension Risk Management Education Center and the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

According to some studies, an estimated 70% of farms and farmland will transition ownership in the next 20 years and fewer than 50% of farmers have estate plans; less than 70% have named successors; and less than 11% have farm business transition plans in place. The consequences of a failure to plan can be severe.

Sign up for webinars
Farmers can learn more about the process by signing up for webinars. The first was held on August 18: "Farm Transition: Planning for Success I - Getting Started."

This webinar outlined the process and discussed the blended approach for coaching families. Each family will be coached by a member of the Ag Transition Partners and action plans will be developed using the University of Minnesota's Ag Transitions online templates. A recording of the webinar is available on the American Agri-Women website.

The second webinar session, "Farm Transition: Planning for Success II - Mapping the Process," will be held on Nov. 17. Registration details will be announced at a later date.

Why is farm succession planning and transition planning important?
Delayed planning is a complex and challenging problem. If the farm is inherited by multiple heirs, inheritance taxes and other fees may cripple the farm and its new owners. Inadequate farm succession planning may result in heirs becoming owners who are incapable of running the farm business; conflicts may develop among heirs; and the farm may have to be partitioned off to accommodate heirs who want to "cash in" on their share of the business.

These scenarios can be avoided when families learn how to work together as a team, confront difficult issues and decisions and commit to making a decision.

For more information, contact Kristine Ranger, project manager, a [email protected] or call 517-974-5697.

If this blog has got you thinking about your own situation, get in touch with my office at [email protected].

The opinions of Rich Dunn are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or the Penton Farm Progress Group.

Important information

See ag financial planner Rich Dunn in person at the 2016 Farm Futures Business Summit.

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