Farm Transitions

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Some articles are in PDF format and require Adobe Acrobat Reader for viewing. Click here to download the reader.

Estate and Succession Planning for Small Business Owners

Loren W. Tauer, Dale A. Grossman, Department of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University, April 2002

This bulletin discusses the fundamentals of estate and succession planning to help families with small businesses assess their goals and consider the economic, legal, and tax implications of various plans. Publication is in PDF format.

NY FarmLink

Department of Applied Economics and Management, Cornell University

Provides networking, consulting, and educational support for beginning and retiring farmers to help in the business transition process. Also offers Business Transfer Guides, which consist of 3 workbooks designed to support the orderly transfer of a farm business from retiring farmer to new operator. The Junior Generation guidebook is for beginning farmers; the Senior Generation guidebook is for retiring farmers; and the Facilitators guidebook is for service providers assisting with the process. The guides are designed to assist all parties through a step-by-step transfer process, at their own pace.

$10. To order, call NY FarmLink at 1-800-547-3276.

NY FarmNet

FarmNet provides farm families with personalized education, confidential consulting, and referrals to help with life and business transitions such as getting started in farming, retirement, estate planning, and farm transfer.

NY FarmNet
415 Warren Hall
Cornell University Ithaca, NY 14853-7801
Phone: 1-800-547-FARM
Fax: (607) 254-7435

Planning for a Secure Retirement

Purdue University Extension

The objective of this course is to help you with your planning for retirement. Each module provides information that can be valuable in answering the questions you need to consider as you make your plans. The modules include specific goals for the module, activities to complete, and sources for more information.

Losing a Way of Life? Ambiguous Loss in Farm Families

Pauline Boss, Department of Family Social Science, University of Minnesota,
February 14, 2001

This discussion guide presents a new way of viewing uncertainty that will help farm families figure out what is happening and help them to get a better handle on stress, change, making decisions, and family life. It contains exercises and coping tips for family members of all ages to explore together. A section written with the help of an agricultural economist gives realistic ideas on business options for family farms. For farm families, and for lending institutions, financial advisors, clergy, counselors, and educators working with farm families.

Succession Survival Kit

The Austin Family Business Program at Oregon State University

This workbook helps you address the right issues; it even tells you what questions to discuss with whom. It provides summary information about managerial, financial, and ownership consideration. Its information-gathering section assembles data in one place. If you have a family business, this could be the most important document you leave behind.

Transferring Ownership of Farm Assets or Retiring from Farming

Dennis Kauppila, Center for Sustainable Agriculture, University of Vermont,

Describes the 3 ways farmers can transfer assets accumulated over years of farming. Especially helpful to farmers who are planning for retirement or who are getting out of farming. Publication is in PDF format.

8 pages. Single copies free; multiple copies may require S&H fee.

To order, contact:
UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture
Agricultural Engineering Bldg.
63 Carrigan Dr.
Burlington, VT 05405
Phone: (802) 656-5459

Farmland Transfer and Protection in New England: A Guide for Entering and Exiting Farmers

The 124-page guide is divided into four parts: Strategies to Transfer Farms and Farmland; Strategies to Protect Your Farmland; a resources section; and sample worksheets and documents.

$15. 124 pages. To order, visit

Retirement Estimator for Farm Families

Purdue University in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

A site designed to help answer questions about retirement. Includes a retirement estimator that helps calculate how much you need and have, an evaluation of your retirement resources, the ability to print your summary, and retirement tips and links.

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