Cultivating Your Farm’s Future: Farm Succession Workshops Start Jan. 31 2024

Join our UW-Madison Division of Extension Farm Management Specialists, Joy Kirkpatrick, Steph Plaster, Kevin Bernhardt, Kelly Wilfert, and Outreach Specialist, Kaitlyn Davis as they lead discussions and activities during the Cultivating Your Farm’s Future workshop series. This program will provide tools and resources for farmers who want to start their succession plans.

The program will explore the three-step process of  planning your business succession:

  • Where are you now?
  • Where do you want to be?
  • How do you get there?

This workshop series will prepare you to shape and communicate your ideas about the future of the farm and business as well as save time by having these crucial conversations before visiting with professionals.

Who should attend? 

This program is for farm businesses and farm families interested in shaping the future ownership of their farm. If you are the owner generation you may be wondering how to transfer a viable business to the next generation or develop a fair inheritance distribution plan. If you are the next generation you may have questions or ideas about your future role in the farm business. Multi-generations of the farm or family are encouraged to attend together.

What topics are covered?

  • Communication preferences and how to talk about the farm’s future
  • Common tensions around farm succession
  • Inheritance distributions – Is equal fair?
  • Financials for farm succession
  • Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats – SWOT analysis
  • Business structures for farm succession
  • Setting goals and action steps
  • Assembling your team for succession planning

When are these classes?

Two workshop sessions will be offered. There is flexibility as to which time you and others from your farm/family can attend our program. For example, if the Wednesdays mid-day option works for some of you, and the Thursdays evenings work better for others, you can do that. The online registration form allows you to register everyone and select the time best for each individual.

Option One
Wednesdays, noon – 1:30 p.m.
Jan. 31, Feb. 7, 14, and 21

Option Two
Thursdays, 6 – 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 1, 8, 15 and 22

How is the program delivered? 

Four live sessions will be via Zoom, so participants can join from anywhere! Each week participants will receive an email with homework assignments. The homework is designed to help participants gather information and be prepared for the discussions and activities during the live Zoom sessions. The homework will be a mix of short videos, worksheets or reading assignments. The hard copies of the materials for the program will be mailed out before the first week of class. If the farm has participants living at different locations, we will need all the addresses at registration so we can mail materials to the appropriate addresses.

Registration details

Registration Fee: $100/per farm which provides one workbook, folder of materials, course videos and four live zoom sessions; $15/additional workbook. Multiple farm/family members are encouraged to attend.

Register online at https://uwmadison.eventsair.com/farm24/reg

Registration deadline is Friday, Jan. 19, 2024 to ensure participants receive the mailed materials in time for the first class.

Even if you have attended other transition, estate, or succession planning classes, consider attending this program to get a START on YOUR succession plan.

For more information contact Joy Kirkpatrick, Farm Succession Outreach Specialist, joy.kirkpatrick@wisc.edu, 608.263.3485 or Katilyn Davis, Agriculture Outreach Specialist, kaitlyn.davis2@wisc.edu

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