Ag Transition Partners, a group of educators and agricultural consultants, is launching a new, no-cost farm transition planning project that includes webinars, on-site or virtual coaching and action plan templates. The project’s multi-layer approach sets it apart from other planning processes, better helping farm families ensure the legacy of their operations.

American Agri-Women is supporting the project, along with Michigan and Minnesota Agri-Women and Wisconsin Women for Agriculture. This project is free for participating farm families and is made possible through a grant from North Central Extension Risk Management Education Center (NCERMEC) and the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

According to some studies, an estimated 70% of farms and farmland will transition ownership in the next 20 years and fewer than 50% of farmers have estate plans; less than 70% have named successors; and less than 11% have farm business transition plans in place. The consequences of a failure to plan can be severe.

Sign up for webinars

Farmers can learn more about the process by signing up for this webinar, which will be held at noon Central time on August 18: “Farm Transition: Planning for Success I – Getting Started.” American Agri-Women is hosting the webinar.

Register by clicking here. The webinar ID is 133-513-027.

The first webinar in this series will outline the process and discuss the blended approach for coaching families. Each family will be coached by a member of the Ag Transition Partners and action plans will be developed using the University of Minnesota’s Ag Transitions online templates.

A recording of the webinar will also be made available here along with a FAQ sheet.

The second webinar session, “Farm Transition: Planning for Success II – Mapping the Process,” will be held on November 17. Registration details will be announced at a later date.

The third session, “Farm Transition: Planning for Success III – Making it Happen,” will be on a date to be announced.

Delayed planning is a complex and challenging problem. If the farm is inherited by multiple heirs, inheritance taxes and other fees may cripple the farm and its new owners. Inadequate farm succession planning may result in heirs becoming owners who are incapable of running the farm business; conflicts may develop among heirs; and the farm may have to be partitioned off to accommodate heirs who want to “cash in” on their share of the business.

These scenarios can be avoided when families learn how to work together as a team, confront difficult issues and decisions and commit to making a decision.