Michael Duffy, director of Iowa State University’s Beginning Farmer Center, offers an outline for approaching the farm succession challenge:

  • What do you want to achieve – continuing the farm or simply transferring assets?
  • Work with a team of advisors – lawyer, accountant, financial advisor, etc. – who understand your goals and can give objective guidance.
  • Explore resources and expectations within your family and keep the family informed.
  • Determine if your farm generates enough income to support the new ownership you’re considering.
  • Consider personal dynamics – how you work with your potential successor and how you make decisions.
  • Develop a written plan and consult it regularly.
  • For resources on farm succession, check out the International Farm Transition Network at www.farmtransition.org/netwpart.html.