Planning on passing on your farm?


I think most folks will agree that estate planning is an important and complex discussion for families to have, especially farm families. Every farm family has its unique family personalities, family culture, and mix of on- and off-farm heirs.

Planning critical

These family traits, combined with the complexities of estate and tax planning, make it crucial for families to plan early and often to ensure the successful transition of their family farm.

As the age of farm operators increases, transferring the ownership and management of the family farm will become one of the most important issues farm families will face.

Workshop on tap

To help farmers deal with the complex issues of transferring a family farm, OSU Extension will be hosting a regional workshop in Cortland, Ohio, later this month. This program will be well worth a day out of the fields.

This workshop, “Transferring Your Farm Business,” has been designed to help farm families plan for their eventual transfer. This program will be held from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Aug. 23 at the OSU Extension Office in Trumbull County, located at 520 West Main Street in Cortland. This is the office at which I share my time for OSU Extension.

Tools offered

Families will be able to kick off their estate planning discussions with the tools offered at this workshop, and learn from the estate transfer nightmares encountered by other farm families.

This workshop will help you develop a plan for the future, discover ways to increase family communication, and learn strategies for transferring management skills and the farm’s assets from one generation to the next.


Some of the topics which will be addressed include: Getting the family to talk about estate planning, getting your affairs in order, how to use farm business arrangements in estate planning, estate and transfer strategies, providing income for multiple generations, how do I treat each offspring fairly when it comes to dividing up our farm, long-term care issues, and questions and answers.

The speakers will also share how the elimination of the Ohio estate tax will help families as they make or revise their estate plan. There will be plenty of time available for your questions!

In addition to me, the workshop teaching team will include: Chris Bruynis, OSU Extension Educator in Wyandot County; Jim Skeeles, OSU Extension Educator in Fairfield County, and Attys. Paul Wright and Robert Moore, Wright Law Company.

Each generation

Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. Farm families are encouraged to bring members from each generation to this workshop.

Registration fee is $50 for the first family member. This fee includes morning refreshments, lunch, program handouts and a great family resource notebook. Additional family members are encouraged to attend for $15 per person (includes refreshments, lunch, and program handouts).


Pre-registration is required by Aug. 15 and registrations are limited to the first 60 attendees. Make checks payable to OSU Extension and mail to OSU Extension, 520 West Main Street, Suite 1, Cortland, Ohio 44410. If you have any questions call 330-638-6783 or email me at

A registration flier can also be found at: or

I hope to see many of you at this workshop.

I would like to end today’s column with a quote from Alan Lakein, who stated, “Planning is bringing the future into the present so that you can do something about it now.”


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David Marrison is an associate professor and Extension educator, Agriculture & Natural Resources, Ohio State University Extension. He can be reached at 740-622-2265 or



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