Farm Transitions Conference will help farmers plan for change

COURTESY OF IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY EXTENSION AND OUTREACH
Over two days, the Farm Transitions Conference will help prepare farmers for entering, expanding or exiting the industry.

AMES, Iowa — Every farm operation will face transitions at some point, whether it’s a new beginning, an expansion, retirement or farm exit.

In order to help farmers prepare for these kinds of transitions, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and the Beginning Farmer Center at Iowa State are providing a two-day educational event Feb. 10-11 in Ames.

“Farm Transitions: Entering, Expanding or Exiting the Business” will be held at the Gateway Hotel and Conference Center and will feature presentations and discussion from nearly 20 experts from across the state. The sessions will be packed with information, encouragement and networking opportunities.

The event includes a welcome address by Mike Naig, secretary of the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship. Session topics will equip participants to better evaluate opportunities by reviewing farmland value data, cash rent trends, farm loan options, and crop and livestock outlooks. Experts will also teach participants to write effective business plans and better understand the tax and legal consequences of transition decisions.

“This two-day conference is designed to educate current farmers and landowners, students, individuals interested in starting their own farm operation, as well as retiring farmers, on the tools necessary for a successful farm transition,” said Kitt Tovar Jensen, staff attorney and Beginning Farmer Center coordinator. “We are excited to also offer a virtual option for anyone is not able to travel to Ames.”

Those attending in person will have opportunities for networking, and all attendees (in person or online) may interact with speakers and ask questions throughout both days. All attendees will receive a Farm Transitions manual.

The program is intended for individuals wishing to begin or expand a farming business, as well as family members, students, parents and grandparents, farmers and non-farming heirs who may be involved in the transition of a farming business.

Through presentations and discussions, participants will take a collective and individual look at their values, visions, missions, goals, strategies and tactics.

In-person registration is $175 per person, or $100 for university or college students. Webinar-only registration is $150 and includes two links for joining the conference virtually. Registration information is available online at https://www.calt.iastate.edu/seminar/2022-02-10/farm-transitions-entering-expanding-or-exiting-business

Reserve your room at the Gateway Hotel & Conference Center or call 515-292-8600.

Speaker list:

  • John R. Baker, attorney with the Iowa Concern Hotline at Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.
  • Steve Ferguson, ag development program specialist with Iowa Finance Authority.
  • Jennifer Harrington, staff attorney, Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation, Iowa State University.
  • Chad Hart, professor of economics and crop markets specialist, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development at Iowa State.
  • Christa Hartsook, small farms program coordinator with ISU Extension and Outreach.
  • Erin Herbold-Swalwell, senior counsel for advanced markets with Farm Bureau Financial Services.
  • Kiley Fleming, executive director, Iowa Mediation Services.
  • Katie Kramer, agriculture program specialist, Farm Service Agency.
  • Kelvin Leibold, farm and ag business management specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach.
  • Eldon McAfee, shareholder with Brick Gentry P.C.
  • Kevin McClure, chief agriculture program specialist, Farm Service Agency.
  • Leslie Miller, former V.P, Marion County Bank.
  • Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig, Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.
  • Melissa O’Rourke, farm and ag business management specialist with ISU Extension and Outreach.
  • Alejandro Plastina, associate professor with the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development at Iowa State.
  • Lee Schulz, associate professor with the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development at Iowa State.
  • Dustin Svoboda, farm loan specialist, Farm Service Agency.
  • Brian Tapp, enterprise development team project manager at Iowa State.
  • Kristine Tidgren, director of the Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation at Iowa State.
  • Kitt Tovar Jensen, Beginning Farmer Center coordinator, Center for Agricultural Law and Taxation at Iowa State.
  • Wendong Zhang, associate professor with the Center for Agricultural and Rural Development at Iowa State.