; Communicating With Family Members About Farm Transfer Planning | Conferences | AgRisk Library


Conference Name Communicating With Family Members About Farm Transfer Planning

Crystal Terhune


Behind many aspects of farm transfer planning, people are faced with difficult decisions that are often overshadowed by the complexity of family dynamics, tensions related to estate planning decisions, and the difficult task of knowing how to start conversations about transfer plans. This curriculum was originally developed as part of a full-day statewide estate planning workshop funded by a grant from the Northeast Center for Risk Management Education. Since 2006, the curriculum has been used both as a part of larger educational workshops and as a stand-alone program for various agricultural audiences, including those at regional Annie’s Project sites, Farm Bureau audiences, and at the East Regional Women in Ag Conference.

The curriculum introduces participants to basic communication styles and approaches that can be used to facilitate dialogue among family members. Emphasis is also placed on resources that can be accessed to make communication more comfortable and effective. These resources include information about mediation programs, fact sheets to guide participants through specific aspects of talking with others about farm transfer planning, and handouts pointing them to trusted online sources of information. The curriculum can easily be adapted by educators and agricultural professionals to highlight locally available resources relevant to their target audiences.

After participation in the workshop, initial evaluations indicated that 70% stated an intent to identify farm transfer goals “often” or “always” (opposed to 100% indicating that they “sometimes” or “rarely” identified such goals prior to the workshop). This program could be shared with professionals in a thirty-minute session, a sixty-minute session, or in the format of a poster session.