Farm Transition Conferences Scheduled

The Kansas State University Department of Agricultural Economics will be hosting three conferences to help farmers and ranchers plan for the transition of their farm to the next generation.

According to K-State Research and Extension, registration is now available online. The locations of the conference include:

  • March 6: Garden City – Clarion Inn.
  • March 7: Great Bend – Great Bend Convention Center.
  • March 8: Manhattan – Manhattan Convention Center.

Each conference begins at 9 a.m. and adjourns by 3 p.m. Lunch and materials will be provided.

Ashlee Westerhold, director of the Office of Farm and Ranch Transition at K-State, said a 2012 study from the Harvard Business School found that 70% of family-owned businesses fail to transition to new owners successfully.

“In Kansas,” she notes, “84.6% of Kansas farms are family owned.”

Further, Westerhold said that of the businesses that fail to transition successfully, 60% are due to problems with communication and trust, and 25% are due to lack of preparation for the next generation.

She notes the Farm Journal indicated that 80% of farmers surveyed plan to transfer control of their operation to the next generation, but only 20% were confident that their succession plan would achieve that goal.

“With the values of farm assets and land today, discussing and planning farm succession is even more important,” Westerhold said.

Shannon Ferrell, professor and agricultural law specialist in Oklahoma State University’s Department of Agricultural Economics, is the keynote speaker at all three locations. He will give an informative, yet humorous, overview of the importance of transition planning and how a farm family can begin the process.

The conference agenda also includes presentations about Farm Service Agency’s CRP-TIP program for transitioning farms, an overview of K-State resources for farm transition, and presentations by local attorneys and accountants on the nuts and bolts of putting a plan in place.

“We hope attendees will be motivated to move forward in the transition planning process,” Westerhold said. “We will provide tools and resources to assist in that process.”

Registration costs $60 and must be received by March 1. More information about the conference is available at or