Planning for the Succession of your Family Business

As the age of farm operators increases, transferring the ownership and management of the family business to the next generation will become one of the most important issues farm families will face. While many farmers dream of seeing their legacy passed onto the next generation, many postpone initiating a plan for the transition of their business for a variety of reasons. Many claim  there is not enough “time” to discuss these matters. Or if planning does occur, it simply involves the senior generation drafting a will describing how the farm assets should be divided among heirs.

To help farm families plan for the future, OSU Extension will be hosting a Transferring Your Family Business to the Next Generation workshops across Ohio in March.  These workshops will help answer the questions that often arise when planning for the future: Who will manage the business in the future? How much money will I need to make it through retirement? How do I treat each offspring fairly when it comes to dividing up our farm? How will I know if my kids are ready to take over the farm? What are the legal hoops that need to be jumped through to pass the farm on without hurting the financial standing of the farm? How can we plan so the farm will be profitable for multiple generations? Is there enough equity in the farm that I can retire without selling out?  These workshops will help you develop a plan for the future, discover ways to increase family communication, make plans for retirement, and learn strategies for transferring management skills and the farm’s assets from one generation to the next. 

The workshop teaching team will include: Dr. Bernie Erven, Professor Emeritus of Agricultural Economics at The Ohio State University, Peggy Kirk Hall, Attorney and Director of the OSU Agricultural & Resource Law Program and Paul Wright & Robert Moore, Attorneys at Law and former OSU Extension Specialists.

Programs will be held in Ashtabula, Erie, Muskingum, Tuscarawas, Clermont or Defiance counties.  If you are interested in attending one of these workshops, please contact the host county extension office to receive registration information. 

Workshop Locations

Erie County-   March 11, 2010 (one-day session).  Call 419-668-8219 for more details.

Defiance County –  March 15 & 18, 2010.  Call 419-782-4771 for more details.

Muskingum County –  March 16 and 23, 2010.  Call 740-454-0144 for more details.

Ashtabula County-   March 22 & 29, 2010.  Call 440-576-9008 for more details.

Tuscarawas County-  March 23 & 24, 2010.  Call 330-339-2337 for more details.

Clermont County-  March 25 & 26, 2010.  Call 513-732-7070 for more details.

One response to “Planning for the Succession of your Family Business

  1. We applaud the efforts of the OSU Extension to help farm operators plan for the succession of their family business by presenting Planning for the Succession of Your Family Business in the month of March. Additional educational opportunities and resources are available during the year to farm operators and other family business owners through the Conway Center for Family Business located in Columbus. A complete list of educational programs, peer groups, networking events and resources can be found on our website at We would welcome you as our guest at an educational program if you are interested in additional educational opportunities that focus on the unique aspects of owning and operating a family business. Please feel free to call me if we can supplement the resouces and assistance provided by the OSU Extension.

    Becky Blatt
    Associate Director
    Conway Center for Family Business
    614.260.4381 (direct)

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