Farm Succession Planning

Farm succession planning is a journey rather than a one-time event. It involves not only the transfer of livestock, machinery, feed and supply inventories and land, but also the transfer of management and possibly the family home. Planning for succession should include intentional conversations to develop plans that fit the farm’s goals and needs. In addition to the succession plan, retirement planning, or as we like to call it, Shifting Gears for Your Later Farming Years, is also an important and parallel planning process.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension has several educational resources for farm businesses considering farm succession. Those resources can be found on their Farm Succession & Estate Planning page.

Certified Farm Succession Coordinator Training

The Center for Dairy Profitability, in collaboration with the International Farm Transition Network (IFTN), offers the Certified Farm Succession Coordinator Training.

The economic future of our nation’s agriculture depends on the next generation’s ability to access land and business assets. Many farm and ranch operators are realizing the importance of creating a succession plan. Agriculture service professionals who work with these farms and ranches are recognizing that it takes more than a business structure or an estate plan to get those assets transferred to the next generation of managers. Succession planning also includes management transfer, inheritance issues and (surprise!) humans with emotions.

This training will offer:

  • Insight on the barriers to farm succession
  • Strategies on working with families as they navigate farm succession,
  • Facilitation tools to guide the process,
  • Opportunities to consider real-life examples of farm succession case studies.

Instructors for this training are Dr. Kiley Fleming, the Executive Director of the Iowa Mediation Service, and Joy Kirkpatrick, a Farm Succession Specialist with the University of Wisconsin’s Center for Dairy Profitability. Fleming and Kirkpatrick have been instructors for this training since its inception in 2012. They offer over 35 years of combined succession planning experience to the training.

Attorneys, accountants, lenders, Extension educators, financial advisors, Farm/Ranch mediators, and any individuals who want to specialize in farm succession planning are welcome to participate.

Upcoming Trainings:

When: September 27 – 29, 2021
Monday, September 27, 2021, 8:00 am – 4:30 pm
Tuesday, September 28, 2021, 8:00 am – 4:30 pm
Wednesday, September 29, 202, 8:00 am – noon
Registrants must attend all three days to receive the materials and to be eligible for certification.

Airport Holiday Inn & Conference Center
6111 Fleur Dr.
Des Moines, IA 50321

Registration fees are $950/person if registered before Aug 13, 2021 or $1,000 after August 13. Registration fees includes lunches, morning/afternoon refreshments and a 2021-2022 International Farm Transition Network membership.  Registration does not include evening meals or lodging. Registration will close on Friday, September 17, 2021, at 11:59 pm.  Register online at

Lodging at the Airport Holiday Inn and Conference Center is $115/night (plus taxes) that includes breakfast at the hotel’s Grill. Free parking, free wireless and hardwired internet available in guest rooms, meeting rooms and public spaces. 24-hour complimentary airport shuttle. Hotel phone: 515.287.2400. Reservations must be made by Sept. 5, 2021 to received this rate.

When: May 22 – 25, 2022
Where: Wyndham State College, Pennsylvania