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Cultivating Your Farm’s Future: farm succession and estate planning workshops to be held in 7 locations across Wisconsin

Division of Extension

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension will host workshops in seven locations in January and February 2020, providing information and resources on farm succession and estate planning. The workshops will run from 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Participants will have an opportunity to meet individually with speakers, including attorneys and tax specialists to ask specific questions about their situations.

As the average age of U.S. farmers continues to inch upward, the need to plan for the transition of land, livestock, machinery, and management decisions has become a top priority in the U.S. agriculture industry. While the ongoing economic downturn in almost all sectors of agriculture may have dampened the short term outlook for some farms, long term business and estate planning decisions should still be on farm businesses to-do lists.

Having intentional conversations around farm succession and developing future plans for the farm provides a better chance of transition success. Even if the owner generation is planning to be a part of the management for 10+ years from now, starting early can help the process go more smoothly. It provides the succession generation time to develop their management skills and provides the farm time to build or increase its financial stability to include another generation.

Agenda for each workshop

Workshops include 20 minute resource presentations on:

  • Tax implications around farm succession
  • Retirement resources
  • USDA Farm Service Agency loan programs
  • Business plans
  • Estate planning tools – wills and trusts
  • Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats (SWOT) analysis

A questions and answer period with Resource Speakers will follow lunch, along with individual meetings with resource professionals (10 -15 minutes with each professional).

Follow up meetings will be offered in the host counties in February and March and will be based on feedback from the January workshops’ participants. Farms can also request individual meetings with Extension educators and/or specialists or WDATCP’s Farm Center staff.

Registration is $20 per person and includes lunch, refreshments, speakers and workshop materials. 

For more information on these workshops and the follow up events go to farms.extension.wisc.edu/programs/cultivating/.

Workshop locations, dates

Jan. 21, 2020  – Walworth County Government Center, 100 W. Walworth St., Elkhorn. Contact Jim Versweyveld, Extension Walworth County agriculture educator at Jim.Versweyveld@wisc.edu  or 262-741-4951.

Jan. 27, 2020 – Iowa County Health and Human Services Building, 303 W. Chapel St., Dodgeville. Contact Jackie McCarville, Extension Green County agriculture educator at Jackie.McCarville@wisc.edu or 608-328-9440.

Jan. 28, 2020 – Marshfield Ag Research Station, 2611 Yellowstone Dr., Marshfield. Contact Heather Schlesser, Extension Marathon County agriculture educator at Heather.Schlesser@wisc.edu or 715-261-1230.

Jan. 28, 2020 – Kewaskum, location to be determined. Contact Stephanie Plaster, Extension county agriculture educator Stephanie.Plaster@wisc.edu or in Ozaukee County at 262-284-8288 or in Washington County at 262-335-4477.

Jan. 29, 2020 – St. Joseph’s Ridge. Contact Kaitlyn Lance, Extension La Crosse County agriculture educator at Katilyn.Lance@wisc.edu or 608-785-9593.

Jan. 29, 2020 – Dunn County Community Services Building, 3001 US Hwy 12 East, Menomonie. Contact Katie Wantoch, Extension Dunn County agriculture educator at katie.wantoch@wisc.edu or 715-232-1636.

Feb. 26, 2020 – Lawrence Town Hall, 2400 Shady Ct., DePere. Contact Liz Binversie, Extension Brown County agriculture agent at eybinversie@wisc.edu or 920-391-4612.