; Videos, Case Studies, and Open Discussions: Succession Planning in Idaho | Conferences | AgRisk Library


Conference Name Videos, Case Studies, and Open Discussions: Succession Planning in Idaho

Ashlee Westerhold


According to the USDA Census of Agriculture 2017, the average age of a farm principal operator in Idaho is 57 years old (USDA-NASS 2017). As these principal operators are reaching retirement age, they are seeking professional help in transitioning their operations to the next generation. Many agricultural producers do not know where to start in their succession planning process. University of Idaho Extension Farm Management Team has been providing succession planning workshops for over 10 years, however, many participants haven’t taken the next step after participating.
We held an advisory board meeting and asked them to help us identify why the workshop might not be receiving the results anticipated. From the advisory board, we identified the issue of giving them too broad of information on many things. It was suggested that we concentrate on succession planning instead of business planning and estate planning as transitioning management is more difficult than transferring assets.
For the succession planning course, we decided to incorporate community-based information to curriculum. We created short videos of past participants who successfully transferred management to the next generation within Magic Valley. In addition, we created case studies based on multiple anecdotal succession stories in the Magic Valley. We have the participants work through case study questions in small groups to come up with creative solutions and present them to the class for discussion. We believe the use of these examples from their local community and in class discussions will show the producers that most people are going through the same obstacles. The hypothesis is we will have more participants move forward on their succession plan from the community-based information.