Farm/Ranch Succession Coordinator Training, Bismarck ND


Farm/Ranch Succession Coordinator Training Set

This training is for professionals who help farmers and ranchers transition their business to the next generation.

The North Dakota State University Extension Service is offering a training program for farm succession coordinators June 7-9 at the Career Academy on the Bismarck State College campus.

This training is specifically for agricultural professionals, service providers and organizational leaders, including attorneys, estate planners, accountants, tax planners, agricultural lenders, adult farm management instructors, financial advisers and retirement planners, who will be working with farmers and ranchers as they transfer their business to the next generation.

“We are at a pivotal period in American agriculture, with more than 70 percent of U.S. farms set to transition during the next 15 years and more than 400 million acres of farmland expected to change hands during this time,” says Ashley Ueckert, an Extension agent from Golden Valley County who is helping coordinate the training. “The economic future of our nation’s agriculture depends on next-generation farmers’ and ranchers’ ability to access land and agricultural enterprise.”

John Baker, an attorney with the International Farming Transition Network and administrator of the Beginning Farmer Center at Iowa State University, is one of the presenters for the training. Baker has spent most of his professional career working with families on farm and ranch succession. The training draws on his lifetime of experiences, including national and international research on this topic.

Other presenters are Mark Holkup, associate professor, Farm Business Management Education, Bismarck State College; Russ Tweiten, agribusiness consultant for AgCountry Farm Credit Services; and Kiley Mars, human resource development specialist from Des Moines, Iowa.

“There is a great difference between transferring farm and ranch assets to new owners and transferring a business that is likely to succeed in the future,” Baker says.

Because of these differences, many farm and ranch operators are realizing the importance of creating a succession plan and the value of a skilled facilitator to lead the process of exploring options, coordinating communication and conflict management, Ueckert says.

This training will offer participants insight on the barriers to farm/ranch succession, strategies on working with families, facilitation tools to guide the process and opportunities to consider real-life examples of farm transfer conflicts.

NDSU Extension is offering this program as a next step to its Design Your Succession Plan educational programming, which is being held across North Dakota for farm families to get started on succession plans.

“As I work with farm and ranch families to get started with succession plans through our Design Your Succession Plan program, I often am asked who they can turn to for help in finishing the process,” Ueckert says. “By hosting this training, NDSU Extension is expanding the network of professionals who will be trained to assist the families as they work through issues and conflicts while still providing the services they traditionally would.”

Participants who complete the training and individually work through recommendations for a farm family as part of a case study that will be assigned following the course will be designated as certified succession coordinators, according to Willie Huot, an Extension agent in Grand Forks County and one of the training program coordinators.

The NDSU Extension Service maintains a list of professionals with the certification and will share the list with farm and ranch families across the state.

“Expanding the number of professionals in North Dakota who are available to assist farmers and ranchers to develop a succession plan for their business is one important piece in helping assure a strong ag economy in the future,” Huot says.

The registration fee for the training program is $875 if paid by May 30. After that, the fee is $925. Registration is limited to the first 30 professionals registered.

Visit for more information and the training agenda.

NDSU Agriculture Communication – April 25, 2016

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x