Farm Transitions Conference to be Held in Ames Feb. 8-9

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Kitt Tovar Jensen
staff attorney
Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation

The 2024 Farm Transitions Conference will be held Feb. 8-9 at the Gateway Hotel and Conference Center in Ames.

More than 15 presenters including attorneys, farm management experts and farmers will offer two full days of presentations on a wide variety of topics related to farm transitions and estate planning. The conference theme is “Sowing Success,” and the event is hosted by the Beginning Farmer Center at Iowa State University.

Farm transitions graphic.The first day, Feb. 8, will focus on transition planning, and the second day will focus on estate planning.

Kitt Tovar Jensen, manager of the Beginning Farmer Center at Iowa State, said the program is designed to help attendees navigate the complexities of a family business and facilitate connection to the various professionals, governmental agencies and agricultural organizations that can offer support.

“The success of your farm depends on your ability to make decisions with the information available to you,” she said.

The program is for beginning farmers as well as those looking to transition their farm to the next generation, and also those who simply want to review their current farm transition plans. There will be new content and sessions this year, so even if you attended in the past, plan on learning something new.

Topics and sessions

During the estate planning sessions, presenters will talk about the importance of estate planning for all farms and family situations. Topics will include the basics of wills, trusts, the probate process, taxes, farmland appraisals and strategies for communication and mediation.

The second day will also include a discussion with retired farmers Kathy and Caroll Hoksbergen, who will share their personal experiences about farm transitions and journey to find a farm successor.

“I’m really excited to hear from both sides of the process. Speakers include professionals working in this area as well as those who have gone through a farm transition and can speak from personal experience,” said Tovar Jensen, who is also a staff attorney with the Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation at Iowa State. “This year’s conference will provide practical advice that people can put to use, and hopefully we can help some folks avoid mistakes and family disputes by thinking proactively and constructively.”

Both days include time for networking with other attendees and presenters.

“I want to make sure people can connect to the professionals who are here,” she said. “I really want people to feel empowered to take the next step in their farming operations after they leave the conference.”

All participants will receive a complimentary copy of Estate and Succession Planning for the Farm, a 100-page workbook published this fall by ISU Extension and Outreach.

Register online at For more information, visit the Beginning Farmer website. Tovar can be reached at 515-357-6680 or

Date of Publication: 
November, 2023