Learn about issue of farm succession

Penn State Extension will offer a two-day workshop from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 7 and 14 for farmers who are facing how to decide what do to with their farms when they retire.

Titled “What’s Your Exit Strategy? Empowering Families To Get Started On Their Succession Plan,” the workshop will be held at the Montoursville Presbyterian Church, 900 Elm St.

The event provides tactics for answering sensitive questions, such as:

• How will the family farm business operate when the owner retires or is gone?

• Is the farmer working with another generation who questions their own future role in the business or is the farmer wondering about his or her current role?

Research has shown that more than 80 percent of farm families hope to pass the family farm to the next generation, but only 30 percent of the farms survive to the second generation. Only 12 percent survive to the third generation.

According to John Berry, Extension business management educator, the many tools and resources provided by the program will give participants an opportunity in opening communication lines within the family to begin a plan toward a shared vision of the business.

“The program will prepare attendees to envision, communicate, plan, write and shape the legacy of their family farm business, as well as saving themselves hundreds of dollars by completing these crucial steps before visiting with professionals,” Berry said.

Programming will be structured in five modules. The detailed and dynamic modules will include:

• Starting Your Succession Plan;

• Determining What You Want;

• The Next Generation and Your Legacy;

• Family Meetings and Conversations; and

• Choosing and Working with Professionals.

Berry also stated that attendees also will learn how to choose and work with professionals such as attorneys, accountants, lenders, insurance agents and tax experts in constructing a plan and documents that move the family’s vision into action.

The workshop will include breakfast and lunch along with materials to accomplish the planning process.

For more information on the “What’s Your Exit Strategy” program, contact John Berry at 610-391-9840 or at johnberry@psu.edu.

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