Cultivate Your Farm Legacy

UW-Extension is working hard to provide farm business management resources and tools to farmers to improve profitability through informed decision-making. Joy Kirkpatrick, the farm succession outreach specialist at UW-Extension Farm Management division, shares more about their upcoming program that will provide tools to producers who want to begin the succession planning process. This is the Cultivating Your Farms Future: Planning Your Farm’s Succession workshop.

This workshop is a little different as it is being held virtually and is a flipped classroom style. Program participants will have information and videos to review prior to each session so that the zoom session is more discussion based than lecture.

“We’re hoping that we can reach more people and we’re offering it at different times so hopefully we can reach people who can’t travel or are working,” says Kirkpatrick. “The workshop series is going to focus on things that farm businesses and families can do to get prepared before they go to the attorney.”

Workshop sessions will focus on goal-setting, fair versus equal distribution of inheritance, and creating a plan to put in place. The ultimate goal is to provide farmers with the resources they need to be ready to work with their attorneys and accountants when it is time to transition the farm to future generations.

“We have a big chunk of baby boomers who are reaching retirement age and while we know that farmers don’t always retire at that age of 65, they do need to be thinking about what they want their legacy to be,” says Kirkpatrick.

There are three “buckets” that farmers need to consider with succession planning. First is the business asset bucket, which is knowing what all of the assets owned are worth or will be worth at the time of transition. The second bucket is a family bucket which is having a conversation with your children that are both a part and not a part of the farm. Lastly is the inheritance bucket which is about knowing how the assets will be split.

The Cultivating Your Farm’s Future: Planning Your Farm’s Succession workshop will take place in two series. Series one will take place on Tuesdays starting January 24 from noon to 1:30 pm. Series two will take place on Thursdays beginning February 16 from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm.

The registration cost is $100 per farm and Kirkpatrick encourages multiple farm members to be a part of the conversation. If you have someone  who may be interested in coming back to the farm but is not living close at the time, they can join the zoom call  from wherever they are through your registration.

You can find out more about the workshop here.