Mapping a Plan to Keep your Farm in the Family for Future Generations


Mapping out a succession plan to transfer farm ownership between generations can be an overwhelming task. There are no short cuts or quick fix solutions to this process.  Neither are there easy to find answers.    Developing and implementing a farm business management contingency plan is crucial for the continued success of a farming operation for future generations.   Having a business management plan is an important step in preventing potential misunderstandings between farm family members which helps in avoiding possible family legal disputes.   Farm families must embrace a vision which insures the future of their farm and then follow through with a management plan to accomplish this purpose for future generations.  The ultimate goal must be directed at being prepared with a plan.

Farm families often question how to begin contingency planning for our farm.  What is the first step? How can this ownership transition planning process ever be accomplished?  Although this task may seem overwhelming, farm family members must identify a clear vision for the continued success of their family farming operation and then formulate a contingency plan for the next farming generation.   This vision becomes the farm’s mission statement and provides direction for effective decision making to achieve management goals.   A necessary requirement to insure the future of a farming legacy, as well as to preserve the heritage of a farm family, is being prepared with a contingency plan for farm ownership succession. 


1. Implementing a six step succession planning framework to guide and direct farm families in developing as well as implementing a successful farm ownership succession transition plan for passing on a family farm to the next younger generation and continue a farming legacy.

2. Learning to communicate more effectively as family members when discussing the emotional feelings as well as fears that are often involved when drafting a farm ownership succession plan. Encouraging family members to share their EXPECTATIONS with others to avoid possible misunderstandings and prevent potential family disputes.

3. Motivating farm families to develop a VISION STATEMENT for the future of their farm for the next farming generation. Empowering the succession planning secrets for a successful transition of farm ownership and management control between generations.   Encouraging parents to begin a retirement  planning process to eventually EXIT the farming operation for farm succession success.  

4. Compiling a check list which outlines the necessary transition planning requirements and risk management strategies necessary to achieve a successful farm transition plan for ownership succession. Identifying and incorporating the five basic guideline requirements of a successful transition planning process. 

5. Determining a family farming strength test rating score based on five words that exemplify the core values which establish the foundation of a strong family farming operation.