Farm Transition Planning Independent Study (Economics 490)

Farm Transition Planning Independent Study
Economics 490

Alejandro Plastina, Instructor 515-294-6161
Reference number: 3121150
Section: MD
Two hours
Pass/Fail course
Students receiving credit must meet three criteria for a Pass.

  •  The student(s) must attend and participate in all four days of the Returning to the Farm Seminar. In addition the owner/operator of the farm where the student hopes to be the successor must also attend the seminar.
  • The student(s) will prepare a paper outlining a transition plan for their farming situation. The purpose of the paper is to develop a plan that demonstrates a working knowledge of the topics covered in the seminar.
  • The student(s) must share the paper with the people with whom they attended the Returning to the Farm Seminar. After reviewing and discussing the paper the people providing the succession opportunity must sign it. That doesn’t necessarily mean they agree to everything in the plan but it does mean they have read the plan proposed by the student. This requirement is intended to be a learning/sharing experience for all parties involved with the succession plan.

The paper should contain a discussion on the outlook for agriculture. This will provide a basis for the vision of the industry you are planning to enter. The paper should also contain a detailed description of the current situation for all parties affected by the transfer of the farm business from the owner/operator to the successor. This includes a discussion of each party’s values, vision of the future and their goals.
The succession plan proposed must contain a timeline for the transfer. This would include a detailed discussion for transferring the farming operation to the student. Critical times must be identified; methods for conflict resolution discussed and potential problems and solutions should also be discussed. Particular attention should be paid to the transfer of managerial authority and decision-making. The paper must clearly discuss your values, vision for your future, the future of the farm business and personal and business goals.
Detailed financial records are not required. The paper must include a discussion of the business structure before, during and after the transfer. The paper must demonstrate a working knowledge of what was presented in the seminar.
There is no minimum length requirement for the paper but it must be of adequate length to discuss the proposed plan in sufficient detail to demonstrate a working knowledge of the concepts discussed.
Remember the purpose of the paper is to convey your values, visions, goals, and ideas to the older generation. The review of the paper is intended to allow the older generation an opportunity to share their values, visions, goals and ideas with the student. The paper should be written as if it was being presented to a lender or some other professional. Don’t write the paper as if it was going to a friend.
Proper grammar and the use of the English language will be considered when evaluating the paper. Papers that contain grammatical or spelling errors will be returned for corrections.
Questions concerning course requirements or requests for clarification of the paper requirements should be addressed to Dr. Lawrence. You will be receiving two semester credit hours for this paper. It is expected that, at a minimum, you will spend the same amount of time you would spend for any two hour class.
A detailed draft of the paper must be submitted to Dr. Plastina. Electronic submissions are preferred. Dr. Plastina’s e-mail address is Please enter in the subject line, Econ 490 paper.