K-State Plans Farm Transition Conferences in Three Locations

K-State Research and Extension news service


Manhattan, KS– 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.


The cost for the one-day Farm and Ranch Transition Conferences is $60 for those who register by Dec. 1. The locations of the conference include:

  • Dec. 13: Colby – City Limits Convention Center (2227 S. Range).
  • Dec. 14: Salina – Tony’s Pizza Event Center (800 The Midway).
  • Dec. 15: Erie – Neosho Valley Event Center (321 N. Wood).

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 that a survey by the Farm Journal indicated that 80% of farmers surveyed planned 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.


Oklahoma State University agriculture law specialist Shannon Ferrell is the conference keynote speaker. According to Westerhold, he will discuss the first steps in succession planning. The conference agenda also include discussions with a lawyer and a peer panel.


“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.”


Travel assistance and scholarships for the Farm and Ranch Transition Conferences are available by contacting Westerhold by email, agkansitions@ksu.edu. More information about the conference also is available at https://www.agkansitions.org.


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