The Iowa Farm Bureau’s farm transition program, called Take Root, provides a valued service to help families take the necessary steps to secure the long-term sustainability of their farms from one generation to another, Farm Bureau members say.

“Take Root absolutely was helpful for us,” said Randy Glade, a Guthrie County Farm Bureau member who attended the workshop with his wife, Dixie, in 2016. “It really helps you plant the seeds you need to develop a comprehensive transition plan.”

Warren County Farm Bureau member Duane Ohnemus agreed that attending Take Root sessions with his wife, Mary Jo, provided valuable insight that helped them begin developing a long-term farm transition plan. “It really helped us look at all of the different options for transition plans to see what would work best for us,” he said.

New sessions scheduled

Three new Take Root sessions are scheduled for late 2017 and early 2018. They are:

Nov. 27 and Dec. 11 in Scott County at the Eldridge Community Center, 400 16th Ave. in Eldridge.

Nov. 30 and Dec. 14 in Clayton County at the Farmersburg Com­munity Center, 109 S. Main St. in Farmersburg.

Dec. 19 and Jan. 11 in Cass County at the Cass County Com­munity Center, 805 W. 10th St. in Atlantic.

The program consists of two three-hour workshops, where attendees will receive information and resources useful in developing a managed, comprehensive approach to family farm succession.

Transitioning the family farm can be an emotionally charged and complex issue, said Amanda Van Steenwyk, farm business development manager at the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF). Knowing who should be at the table discussing the farm’s future and how best to approach a transition plan can be difficult for families who have never gone through such a plan, she said. 

“Take Root is more than just estate and transition planning,” Van Steenwyk said. “Take Root provides strategies and resources that will improve family communication, assist in navigating through the emotional obstacles, and identify the business and estate planning tools that correspond with transferring the family business to the next generation.”

Ohnemus said he found the panel discussions, which provided Take Root participants the opportunity to ask questions of attorneys, accountants and others, very valuable. “It really helped answer a lot of questions we had about getting started on our transition plan,” he said.

Glade said that attending a Take Root workshop helped he and his wife begin to set their own farm transition plan. “Everybody’s situation is different, but Take Root really showed us the steps we needed to take as the next generation becomes more involved.” 

Since the program’s inception in 2013, more than 3,000 Farm Bureau members have participated in Take Root workshops held throughout the state. 

For more information on Take Root, please click here.