A family farm business represents a lifetime of hardwork and a commitment to a certain lifestyle that often spans generations. Good communications and planning make the transition from one generation to the next move smoothly and more successfully.
“Successfully transferring a farm business, or any business for that matter, begins with conversations about goals – the goals of all parties involved,” says Dave Baker, farm transition specialist with the Beginning Farmer Center at Iowa State University. “The current owner and spouse as well as future owner and spouse need to be included in the conversations. These talks are often hard to initiate, but they are vital to creating an understanding that can be the basis for a succession plan.”
Many families haven’t taken time to have necessary discussions
Iowa State University Extension is offering a farm business succession workshop to help farm families begin those conversations and start putting transition plans on paper. Jerry Chizek, ISU Extension and Outreach regional director, says offering a farm business succession workshop is a result of needs expressed by area farm families.
“I hear individual family members express concerns about the future of the farm business, but many families have not taken the time to have those discussions between the generations involved,” said Chizek. “This is an opportunity to begin those discussions. If it is important for the farm to stay in the family, then it is critical to have these discussions to share the goals, dreams, fears and expectations associated with succession planning. That’s why we are bringing ISU Extension and Outreach transitioning experts to our region.”
Two-day, two-session workshop is a multigenerational meeting
The workshop is planned as a multigenerational event for exiting owners and spouses, and succeeding owners and spouses. The two-session workshop will be held on consecutive days to allow for the initiation of conversations and written plans. David Baker and John Baker, attorney-at-law and administrator with the Beginning Farmer Center, will present at the workshop in Fort Dodge on Feb. 17-18, 2017.
Over the workshop’s two days, participants will review the retirement plan concept and receive information on transfer plans, estate plans and a process for creating a family statement of intention. Family groups will be given time to write a statement of intent and vision of the future. Families will go home with a blueprint to the future – knowing what they need to do, who they need to talk to and understanding that the plan may need to be adjusted along the way.
Families who attend will go home with a plan for the future
The workshop will be held Friday, Feb. 17 from 1 to 8 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 18 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the ISU Extension and Outreach Webster County office located at 217 South 25th Street, Suite C12 in Fort Dodge.
The cost of the workshop is $200 per family of four and $25 per each additional person. Preregistration is required by Feb. 10 and can be made by contacting ISU Extension and Outreach offices in the following counties: