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Design Your Succession Plan for Farm and Ranch Families

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The first step is the hardest. Creating a succession plan takes time, effort, family communication and working with professionals. Design Your Succession Plan will help you explore what you want for your business, how to discuss it in the family and how to get started creating a succession plan. It also will help you choose and prepare to work with professionals who will make the plan legal and viable.

Design Your Succession Plan is a multi-session workshop to help you:

Get started on a succession plan using a workbook during and after the workshop

Open lines of communication with family to create a shared vision for the family business

Work with professionals to construct a plan and documents to put the family’s vision into action

This program will explore the four components of succession planning: planning for your business, retirement, transition and estate. You will be prepared to communicate, plan, vision, write and shape the legacy of your family farm/ranch business, as well as save hundreds of dollars by completing these crucial planning steps before visiting with professionals.

You will receive a resource binder and workbook to use during and after the sessions. Starting the workbook during class will give you a jumpstart on your succession plan. When you leave the program, you will be motivated to continue communicating and working on the family farm/ranch legacy.

Who should attend?

Design Your Succession Plan is for families who want to shape the future ownership of their family farm or ranch – the family legacy – whether that is transferring a viable business to the next generation or determining how to divide farm/ranch assets. Even if you have attended other transition, estate or succession planning classes, consider attending this program to get a start on your succession plan.

Program Overview

Module 1: Starting Your Succession Plan
This module defines succession planning and highlights the importance of developing a plan and starting early. It includes tools for getting started and defines the language of succession planning.

Module 2: Determining What You Want
Participants are encouraged to identify what is important to them and what they want to accomplish with their succession plan. They also are encouraged to determine what is realistic or possible. Will they be passing along assets or a business? Worksheets can be found here. 

Module 3: The Next Generation and Your Legacy
Participants look to the next generation who will follow them on the farm or ranch. Will the successors take over a business? Will they be leasing the land? Will they be buying the land? This module helps participants learn how to identify, select and mentor a successor who will acquire the skills needed to continue the farm/ranch business successfully.

Module 4: Family Meetings and Conversations
Good communication is key to a successful succession plan. Participants explore guidelines for planning and holding family meetings. They also will learn how to gather information to ensure they make the best decisions and how to discuss even the toughest issues in succession planning.

Module 5: Choosing and Working With Professionals
Participants explore how to identify, choose and work with needed professionals to develop and implement a farm/ranch succession plan.


Contact Info

Bryon Parman
Assistant Professor/Agricultural Finance Specialist