Cultivating Your Farm’s Future Work

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension will host workshops in January 2020, providing information and resources on farm succession and estate planning. The workshops will run from 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Participants will have an opportunity to meet individually with speakers, including attorneys and tax specialists to ask specific questions about their situations.

As the average age of U.S. farmers continues to inch upward, the need to plan for the transition of land, livestock, machinery, and management decisions has become a top priority in the U.S. agriculture industry. While the ongoing economic downturn in almost all sectors of agriculture may have dampened the short term outlook for some farms, long term business and estate planning decisions should still be on farm businesses to-do lists.

Having intentional conversations around farm succession and developing future plans for the farm provides a better chance of transition success. Even if the owner generation is planning to be a part of the management for 10+ years from now, starting early can help the process go more smoothly. It provides the succession generation time to develop their management skills and provides the farm time to build or increase its financial stability to include another generation.

Cultivating Your Farm’s Future: Farm Succession and Estate Planning agenda for each workshop:

9:30 a.m.         Coffee, refreshments, check-in

10 a.m.            Resource Presentations (20 minutes each)

  • Tax implications around farm succession
  • Retirement resources
  • USDA Farm Service Agency loan programs
  • Business plans
  • Estate planning tools – wills and trusts
  • Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats (SWOT) analysis

12:30 p.m.       Lunch

1 p.m.              Q&A with all Resource Speakers (questions submitted on index cards over lunch)

1:30 pm           Individual meetings with Resource Professionals (10 -15 minutes with each professional)

2:30 pm           Evaluations/Adjourn

Follow up meetings will be offered in the host counties in February and March and will be based on feedback from the January workshops’ participants. Farms can also request individual meetings with Extension educators and/or specialists or WDATCP’s Farm Center staff.

Registration is $20 per person and includes lunch, refreshments, speakers and workshop materials.  For more information on these workshops and the follow up events go to https://farms.extension.wisc.edu/programs/cultivating/ .

Workshop locations and dates:

  • Jan 21, 2020 – Walworth County Government Center, 100 W. Walworth St., Elkhorn. Contact Jim Versweyveld, Extension Walworth County agriculture educator at Jim.Versweyveld@wisc.edu  or 262-741-4951.
  • Jan 27, 2020 – Iowa County Health and Human Services Building, 303 W. Chapel St., Dodgeville. Contact Jackie McCarville, Extension Green County agriculture educator at Jackie.McCarville@wisc.edu or 608-328-9440.

For more information on these workshops and the follow up events go to https://farms.extension.wisc.edu/programs/cultivating/ .