SDSU Extension statewide estate and farm transition workshops set

Farm Forum

BROOKINGS — SDSU Extension staff offers two unique workshops to answer questions involved with estate planning and aid in planning for farm transitions. The Sustaining the Legacy-Estate Planning and Farm Transitions Conferences, developed for all parties involved in the farm or ranch operation, will be held in several locations throughout South Dakota beginning Feb. 7, 2014. Another program, designed for women in agriculture and held as part of the Annie’s Project entitled, Managing for Today and Tomorrow course for Farm and Ranch Women begins Jan. 15 in Kadoka.

These workshops will provide attendees with information on how to pass their operation on to the next generation, to develop a fair estate plan for all heirs; reduce family friction due to the transition of assets; develop a plan that maintains privacy; and develop a plan that fulfills their goals for the operation.

Why a transition plan is necessary:

As the average age of South Dakota producers continues to climb; the value of the estate climbs as well, creating situations where the next generation to the operation could not afford to buy it outright without some type of business plan, purchase plan, and/or estate plan, explains Heather Gessner, SDSU Extension Livestock Business Management Field Specialist.

“Producers have invested years in their operation. I know three days is a lot to be away, but think of it as an investment in the future of your operation. Just like the time you invest selecting your next herd sire, or seed variety,” said Gessner.

Managing for Today and Tomorrow

The Managing for Today and Tomorrow: Farm Transition Planning program, a new Annie’s Project course, has been scheduled for January and February in Kadoka on Wednesday evenings; January 15, 22, 29, February 12, and 19.

The cost is $75 per person, which includes a 300-page workbook with fact sheets, hands-on activities, and presentations. A light supper will be served before each class at 5:30 p.m. Course size is limited, so please register soon.

Designed for specifically for farm and ranch women, participants will learn about business, estate, retirement and succession planning from SDSU Extension Field Specialists and area professionals. In addition to brief presentations, there will be discussions based on participant questions and follow-up activities for family members to complete at home.

“We’re happy to be a partner in bringing this valuable program to JacksonCounty,” said Adele Harty, SDSU Extension Cow/ Calf Field Specialist, “This farm transition course is an opportunity for farm and ranch women to meet with others who share similar issues and concerns. We limit the size of the class to make it comfortable for everyone to speak up and get questions answered.”

Annie’s Project, an agricultural risk management education program for women, has successfully reached more than 9,000 farm and ranch women in 30 states. “This new program emphasizes the role women play in helping transfer farms and ranches from one generation to the next,” said Harty. “Managing for Today and Tomorrow: Farm Transition Planning will empower women to take ownership of the future of their farms,” said Harty. “Farm Credit Services of America is a statewide sponsor of Annie’s Project courses.”

Managing for Today and Tomorrow is supported by the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA, Grant # 2011-49400-30584. More information can be found on the Annie’s Project website at

For more information and to register contact Adele Harty, SDSU Extension Cow/Calf Field Specialist at 605-394-1722 or; or Belinda Mitchell, local contact at 605-837-2281 or

Sustaining the Legacy: Estate Planning and Farm Transitions Conferences

The conference provides farmers and ranchers with three days full of information on creating their plan no matter how big or small the operation. The conference will also cover the following topics: business structures, goals, asset distribution, wills and probate, retirement planning and funding, fair versus equal distribution, taxes, life insurance, long term care insurance and trusts.

All members involved in the operation encouraged to attend together.

• Sioux Falls – Feb. 7, 14, 21 at SDSU Extension Regional Center in Sioux Falls (2001 E. 8th Street) , 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. CDT. Registration is due January 31.

• Pierre – Feb. 7, 14, 21 at SDSU Extension Regional Center in Pierre (412 W. Missouri Avenue) , 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. CDT. Registration is due January 31.

• Watertown – March 17, 24, 31 at SDSU Extension Regional Center in Watertown (1910 W. Kemp Avenue) , 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. CDT. Registration is due March 10.

• Rapid City – March 17, 24, 31 at SDSU West River Ag Center (1905 Plaza Boulevard) in Rapid City, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. MDT. Registration is due March 10.

More reasons to attend:

• Preservation of assets in case long-term care facilities are needed for any of the family members involved in the operation.

• Many producers do not have heirs coming back to the operation. In these cases the disposal of the assets needs to occur in a manner that provides income and stability throughout retirement.

• Large operations have tax concerns that must be addresses to help preserve the operation.

• Confusion and uncertainty about the tools available and where to go for assistance putting the plan together is high.

To learn more and to register, contact Gessner at 605-782-3290, Make checks out to SDSU Extension; 2001 E. 8th Street, Sioux Falls, SD 57103. These conferences are sponsored in part by the South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotion Council.