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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Prepare Your Farm's Future with OSU Extension Planning Workshops

October 27, 2006

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Whether it's managing the day-to-day operations of a farm or looking ahead to retirement or transition, planning for the success of an agricultural business can be a complex, challenging task that many are reluctant to face.

Ohio State University Extension is easing farmers into business planning with a statewide farm transition program, supported by a $40,000 North Central Risk Management Education Center grant. Four two-day workshops will be held across Ohio in January, February and March of 2007. The "Building for the Successful Transition of Your Agricultural Business" workshops are designed to help family businesses develop a transition plan for the farm's future by discovering ways to increase family communication, plan for retirement, and learn strategies for transferring management skills and the farm's assets from one generation to the next.

All sessions will be held from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Registration is $75 for the first family member and $50 for each additional family member attending. Registration includes a workshop notebook, refreshments and lunch during each session.

The two-day workshops will be held at the following locations:

• Jan. 23 and 24, Carrollton Days-Inn, 1111 Canton Road, Carrollton, Ohio 44615.

• Jan. 25 and Feb. 7, Northwest State Community College, 22600 State Route 34, Archbold, Ohio 43502.

• Feb. 26 and 27, Deer Creek Resort & Conference Center, 22300 State Park Road 20, Mt. Sterling, Ohio 43143.

• Feb. 27 and March 6, All Occasion Catering, 6989 Waldo Delaware Road, Waldo, Ohio 43356.

A special evening program is being developed for the sessions in Carrollton and Mt. Sterling.

The first workshop session at each location is designed to assist all members of the family business analyze the current status of the business, determine where the business is going, and plan for the future. Participants will learn how responsibilities can be shared between generations and how the new generation of managers can be developed. Participants will also examine the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to their business and will develop a shared vision for the future. Bernie Erven, Ohio State Universty agricultural economics professor emeritus, will be the keynote speaker.

The second workshop session will feature the nuts and bolts of transferring a family business from one generation to the next. This session will allow participants to learn more about business organization structures and strategies; how to treat on-farm and off-farm heirs; how to equitably transfer assets; how to plan for adequate retirement income; and how buy-sell agreements, trusts, and life insurance can be utilized in succession planning. Paul Wright and Robert Moore from Wright Law Co. LPA in Dublin, Ohio, will be keynote speakers. Other OSU Extension specialists involved in the program include: farm management specialist Don Breece; agricultural economist Barry Ward; and Extension Educators David Marrison, Chris Zoller, Jeff McCutcheon, Chris Bruynis, Mike Gastier, and Julia Woodruff.

To register or to obtain a brochure, contact the OSU Extension Center at Lima at (419) 422-6106 or log on to For more information about the workshops, contact the Ashtabula County Extension office at (440) 576-9008.

In addition to the workshops, as part of the statewide farm transition program, OSU Extension Educators plan to release Ohioline fact sheets and bulletins focusing on transition planning issues later this winter. Check for updates.

Candace Pollock
David Marrison