Increased land values, an aging farm owner/operator population, larger farm operations, and ever changing tax laws have created a challenge for farm families when trying to transition their business to the next generation. As a result, farm families and the ag professionals that work with them, have sought out University of Minnesota Extension for assistance in garnering information related to this issue. Consequently, Extension educators in Minnesota have developed a comprehensive farm transition and estate planning program curriculum that helps farm families address this transition issue. The program has been offered to farm families over the past four years. During that time, Extension educators have completed a rigorous evaluation process. This presentation will explore the format for such an evaluation process and outline some of the cumulative findings from the program evaluation process.
Data will include participant self-reported behavioral change over the course of the four year program period. Data will also include cumulative impacts and outcomes based upon evaluative data from participants stating their progress toward development of and implementation of a farm business transition and associated personal estate plan. Information presented will also outline participant self-reported value of the program and curriculum workbook plus disclose some of the challenges and obstacles farm families encountered as they began the transition and estate planning process.