NDSU Extension - Sargent County


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How Soon Could It Be Too Late?

Old Barn in Open Prairie


Over Thanksgiving weekend, my sister and her husband hosted the traditional family gathering at their home. Precious time together was filled with conversation and of course, a delicious meal. As we were all sitting around the dinner table, my dad made an announcement. “I had a scare last week,” he said.

My dad is 83 years old. He and mom still live in the farmhouse where I grew up. He retired from raising livestock several years ago. My brother has been farming the land for the last few years, but Dad still helps out with some of the field work.


Mom and Dad have plans in place for “the future.” However, the health episode he had experienced the week prior had shaken him up. He felt our Thanksgiving dinner table was the time and place to give “us kids” more information and answer any questions we might have. He also wanted to remind us of certain details regarding “the farm.”

While 88 percent of farm families hope to pass the farm on to the next generation, studies indicate that only 30 percent of farms survive the second generation, and only 12 percent survive the third generation.

Succession planning for farm and ranch families can be complex. “Design Your Succession Plan” (DYSP) was developed by NDSU Extension Service to help families get the job done. DYSP is designed to help participants:

    - understand and navigate the succession planning process, 
    - initiate conversations among family members so that decisions can be made,
    - get started on formulating a succession plan for the farm business and family, and
    - prepare to work with professionals in creating a succession plan for the future of your business

I am working with colleagues in the southeast corner of our state to offer a “Design Your Succession Plan” (DYSP) workshop in Lisbon in January. Pre-registration is required and an early-bird registration discount is being offered. For more information, contact me at 724-3355, extension 130, or visit the DYSP website at https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/succession/events.

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