The SDSU extension encourages proactive farm transition management; An information conference will be held next month in Nebraska

The International Farm Transition Network will hold its annual conference in Lincoln, Nebraska on June 8-9, 2022.

The IFTN strives to educate and improve the skills of industry professionals working with farmers and ranchers on their transition and succession plans. The transition to the next generation is done in several ways. However, the main reason for problems is usually a lack of communication about the goals, expectations, fears, and desires that affected family members may have.

“As the national average age of farmer increases, more land will pass to a new owner and operator,” said SDSU Extension livestock operations management field specialist Heather Gessner. “In the next ten years, a lot of land will change owners, either through a family transition or through a sale to an unrelated individual.”

The transition dilemma is not a situation unique to South Dakota or the United States – IFTN is a resource for professionals around the world to share the latest research and learn from each other.

“Serving on the IFTN board helps me bring the best resources back to South Dakota,” said Gessner, who has served on the IFTN board for three years. “We are working collaboratively to help increase the number of multigenerational farms and ranches around the world.”

Successfully used communication tools and research from around the world will be showcased in presentations at the 2022 conference. Keynote speaker and Professor Alison Sheridan from the University of New England Business School in Australia will share her research on intergenerational agricultural succession in an Australian context.

The variety of taxes related to estate plans is also a factor that farm families must consider when transitioning to a new generation or when selling their farm. Kitt Tovar-Jensen from the Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation at Iowa State University will provide an update on tax law changes affecting the agricultural transition.

Breakout sessions and networking opportunities, including a panel of farmers sharing their estate planning experiences, complete the itinerary.

“The breakout sessions are a great way to learn a new skill, method, or idea related to working with a variety of family members involved in farm transition,” Gessner said.

IFTN members are lawyers, financial planners, accountants, mediators, extension staff, insurance agents, mediators and various other professionals who work with farmers and ranchers on their transition plans inheritance and agriculture.

Those interested in attending can find more information about the IFTN mission and the IFTN conference on the International Farm Transition Network website at farmtransition.org.

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