; Farming...the Next Generation | Conferences | AgRisk Library


Conference Name Farming...the Next Generation

John Baker


Farm business succession is critical to the future of farming. Thousands of farmers will retire in the next decade in the US. These farm families face financial, legal and human resource risks as they transfer the farming business. Farm families confronting this issue seek answers to technical questions on tax implications, appropriate business structures and financial viability. However, many times it is the differing values, goals and lack of honest, open communication that contribute to farm succession failure. The International Farm Transition Network (IFTN) is an organization of university and non-profit representatives who are dedicated to helping farm families with their farm succession planning. IFTN member organizations have developed successful programs emphasizing communications and strategic planning as the foundation to succession planning. These programs are designed so that Extension faculty and staff and other professionals meet with participants over four days – usually two weekends with at least a month between. Representatives from both generations are required for a farm to participate in the program. The four-day program includes values, mission and goals clarification, conflict management, in addition to technical topics like tax planning and business structuring. With funding from the North Central Region Risk Management Education Center, IFTN members have introduced this program to Michigan, South Dakota, North Dakota, Kansas & Oklahoma. This winter the program will be introduced in Illinois, Missouri and Virginia. This session will provide details on what makes these programs successful and a summary of the impacts the participating states have realized since introducing the programs.