Workshop focuses on transferring farm to the next generation


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 that 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 host a Transferring Your Farm to the Next Generation workshop from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. March 22 and March 29 at Grindstone Creek Lodge at 4-H Camp Whitewood. 4-H Camp Whitewood is located in Windsor, Ohio, in the southwest corner of Ashtabula County.

If you have never been to 4-H Camp Whitewood, you will want to check out the beautifully remodeled Grindstone Creek Lodge as well as the newly built sugarhouse. Brandon Mitchell, our new 4-H camp director, has really made 4-H Camp a place to hold winter meetings!

Answer questions

This workshop 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?

Develop a plan

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: Bernie Erven, professor emeritus of Agricultural Economics at The Ohio State University; Peggy Kirk Hall, attorney and director of the OSU Agricultural and Resource Law Program; Paul Wright and Robert Moore, attorneys at law and former OSU Extension specialists and David Marrison, OSU Extension educator.

Registration fee

Registration fee is $75 for two family members. Additional family members can attend for $30 per person. Registration includes morning refreshments, lunch, one family resource notebook and program handouts.

Pre-registration is required by March 12 and registrations are limited to the first 45 attendees. Make checks payable to OSU Extension, Ashtabula County and mail to 39 Wall St., Jefferson, OH 44047.

If you have any questions, call the Ashtabula County Extension office at 440-576-9008 or e-mail me at

This workshop is being sponsored by the OSU Western Reserve E.E.R.A. Extension offices in Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Portage, Summit and Trumbull counties.

For farm families who are closer to Erie, Muskingum, Tuscarawas, Clermont or Defiance counties, you will be pleased to know that a similar workshop will be held in these counties as well.

If you are interested in attending one of these workshops, contact the host county extension office to receive registration information (see contact information at the end of this article).


We, at OSU Extension, hope you will consider attending one of these sessions and will take time to check out the new Ohio Farm Succession Blog located at

The goal of this blog is provide information on legal and tax changes which affect succession planning as well as a source for planning resources. Participants are also encouraged to blog their thoughts on their experiences in farm succession.

Working together, we can help ensure the future of your farm family business. I hope to see you at one of these workshops. Have a good and safe day.

Workshop locations

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

Defiance County, March 15 and 18. Call 419-782-4771 for more details.

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

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

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

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


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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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