Families planning the transfer of farms to the next generation of operators seek information and resources. The succession planning process includes considerations for financial well-being, farm management and risk assessment. It is crucially important for families to properly develop plans that address the transfer of ownership and management.
The Purdue Succession Planning Team, comprised of Extension Educators and Specialists, was formed in 2011 to address the needs of families planning the continuation of farm businesses. The team mission is to cultivate strong Indiana farm families through the succession planning process by providing educational opportunities and current resources.
We currently offer programming in three areas: Regional Workshops, Introduction to Succession Planning Presentation and Farm Family Visits.
The team coordinates winter workshops held regionally across Indiana (attendees may be charged a fee). These workshops cover various topic areas including:
Workshop presenters include experienced professionals (i.e., attorneys and accountants), Extension specialists and Extension Educators. Team members may also hold family meetings with the workshop attendees to help them move forward with the next steps of their succession plans. Fees charged for these workshops have been lowered due to grant funding provided by the North Central Extension Risk Management Education Center.
Team members may deliver short presentations (approximately one hour in length) at educational workshops and other venues. The presentation covers basic steps and considerations for succession planning including:
Families seeking advice on preparing succession plans can contact team members to schedule a family meeting of approximately one hour in length. These meetings can provide assistance with the succession planning process. The team members can advise families on preparing for meetings with accountants and attorneys. Note that a mileage fee may be charged for these meetings depending on the distance traveled by team members.
It is often hard to know where to start when it comes to succession planning. The following documents help family businesses and farm businesses start planning for their future.
There are many options when it comes to how to structure and arrange a business. Many factors play into businesses’ structure including family, income, entities and business goals.
Estate planning for a farm or family business can help ensure that assets are distributed per the wishes of the owner. Estate plans can make transfers much smoother and help maintain family relationships when such a transfer takes place.
Transitioning from one generation to the other requires the transfer of both tangible assets, like machinery and land, as well as the transfer of skills and management. Good planning can help ensure a successful transition while managing risk.
Intertwining family and business can be tricky, and if not dealt with carefully, it can lead to tension or arguments. Correct and structured planning can keep a business healthy and families working together.
For general questions about the program and regional workshops or to learn more about scheduling a farm family visit, please feel free to contact any of the team members listed below.