NPR - Helping Ohio Farms To Transfer Their Family Business To The Next Generation (p38-41)
In 2007, OSU Extension professionals developed and conducted a farm succession program for farm business in Ohio, USA. The team’s first objective was to develop Extension resources to help farm families as they discuss how to transfer the family businesses. The team’s second objective was to develop and teach farm succession workshops. These workshops provided 105 participants with the skills needed to develop a farm transfer plan and to increase family communication. This paper summarizes the Extension resources developed, the post program evaluation of the workshops as well as the six month follow-up survey to determine the succession planning progress and future needs of the clientele. Seventy-eight families responded to the post-program survey and 53 responded (50.5%) to the six month survey. The results of the post program survey and the six month follow-up survey showed the workshops were successful as many positive comments were written by the participants and good mean gains in knowledge gain were achieved. The six month survey indicated the participants made great strides in putting into action the tools they learned during the workshops. Eighty-five percent (85.1%) have had discussions with their family about business transition, 84.8% have improved their communication, and 76.6% have started an estate plan. In addition, 54.2% of the participants held an intergenerational family meeting, 35.4% reported meeting with their attorney, and 33.3% met with their accountant to develop a succession plan. OSU Extension has continued to offer workshops across Ohio as a result of the surveys. Additional Extension factsheets and curriculum have been authored by the teaching team. Additional strategies for following up with the program participants are also being explored by the team.
Keywords: farm succession, estate planning, transition planning