; Design Your Succession Plan - Pilot Project and Beyond | Conferences | AgRisk Library


Conference Name Design Your Succession Plan - Pilot Project and Beyond

Willie Huot


Succession planning is one of the most critical needs facing farm and ranch families as they attempt to transfer their business to a successive generation; either family or non-family. Data reveals that about 77% of all farm assets are currently owned by those age 70 years or older. Further, in ND an estimated 50% of all agricultural lands are now operated under some type of lease agreement between an owner and operator. Based upon recent surveys, it is also estimated that less than 50% of ND farms and ranches have a current succession plan in place.

NDSU Extension has developed and piloted an educational program titled “Design Your Succession Plan” that helps farm and ranch families get started on developing a succession plan for their business. The curriculum consists of five modules that provide for a great deal of interaction between the presenters and the audience. Module titles are: “Starting Your Succession Plan”, “Determining What You Want”, “The Next Generation and Your Legacy”, “Family Meetings and Conversations”, and “Choosing and Working With Professionals”.

The materials consist of a presenter’s binder, participant’s binder and a participant’s workbook. Following the pilot sessions in the winter of 2015, the materials were revised based upon recommendations from presenters and participants. During the fall/winter of 2015/2016, the course was offered at 20 locations throughout ND. Total attendance was just under 200 participants.

Initial evaluation, compiled using qualtrics, reveal a significant positive change in knowledge, confidence and intended behavior change between the beginning and conclusion of the course for over 80% of the participants.