Multi-disciplinary effort creates Farm Succession Workshop Resource for use State-wide

Name and Position/Title:
Chris Mondak, Dairy Field Specialist

Fiscal Year Submitted:

POW Title and Number:
110 - Dairy

Multi-disciplinary Extension effort creates adaptable state-wide Farm Succession Workshop Resource

Problem Statement:
In both informal and formal needs assessment surveys, people in agriculture frequently cite the need or request for ways to bring the next generation into the farm or family business.   One of the most recent indications for a need for assistance in farm succession processes came in Dec 2009 at a NW Iowa Young Producers Dairy Peer Group meeting.  Of the 20 young people attending, all but 1 identified issues and interests in farm succession processes.

While ISU Extension – Beginning Farmer Center has successfully delivered Ag-Link Seminars in a 2-weekend format based in Ames, the location and time-frame put the resource out of reach of many.

Programmatic Response: 
In January 2010, ISU Extension staff began discussions on feasibility of adapting the Ag-Link material for afternoon or evening delivery to target audiences.   Planning discussions involving ISUE Beginning Farmer Center staff, ISUE Dairy Field Specialist, and ISUE Communications staff resulted in a template for a new format for a 2-session Farm Succession Workshop.   The planning group devised a curriculum that could be delivered at any point in the state.  A brochure template that is easily revised to reflect site location and date details was developed to facilitate program promotion and recruitment.

A pilot session of the new format was held June 23-24, 2010 in NW Iowa to provide a site nearby to the young dairy producer target audience, as well as to other farm or business families seeking succession planning information.

Five families -  including current owner and spouse and the succeeding owners and their spouses- enrolled in the pilot session.  Over the course of 2 consecutive evenings (4pm – 9pm), attendees were involved in small group discussions, family group meetings, and lecture presentations on topics that included clarifying wants/needs/fears/expectations,  effective communication processes, Transfer Plans, Retirement Plans, Estate Plans, forming a family Statement of Intention and Vision for the Future, and creating a Critical Path or timeline to do the work needed to achieve the family goals.

Outcome Statement:  
The comments below are post-meeting evaluation responses:

“ I was surprised…..”

“I enjoyed….”

“I found it difficult to…..

“In the future I will….”


110 Dairy

Last updated: August 8, 2010
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