Sustainability and transitioning the family farm from one generation to the next is an important goal for farm families, especially as families look to bring the next generation into their operation. Iowa Farm Bureau’s Take Root program provides a valued service to farm families and helps connect them with the necessary resources to start the process and put a plan in place.       

Since the program’s inception in 2013, more than 5,000 members have participated in Take Root workshops held throughout the state as they began to navigate the farm succession planning process.  

“Take Root is more than just estate and transition planning,” said Amanda Van Steenwyk, farm business development manager at the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF).  “Take Root provides customized 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.”

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

  • Nov. 27 and Dec. 11 in Scott County at the Eldridge Community Center, 400 16 th Ave. in Eldridge.
  • Nov. 30 and Dec. 14 in Clayton County at the Farmersburg Community Center, 109 S. Main St. in Farmersburg.
  • Dec. 18 and Jan. 11 in Cass County at the Cass County Community Center, 805 W. 10 th St. in Atlantic. 

Workshop participants will have the opportunity to ask questions of attorneys, accountants, and other professionals serving key roles in the farm succession process, something Van Steenwyk says has been very valuable for families attending the workshops.      

During the initial workshop, families will learn how to start the conversation about farm transition planning.  “We know it’s an emotional process,” Van Steenwyk says.  “The farm wasn’t created in a day, so we know there are emotional ties that we will work through as well.”

During the second workshop, families will interact with a panel of farm business experts who will provide insight on estate, tax and financial planning, leases and tenant qualities, and beginning farmer opportunities. 

“The workshops are designed to answer any questions families have regarding farm business transitions and helping to provide a framework on how to carry on the family’s farming legacy,” Van Steenwyk says. 

Participation in the Take Root workshops are a member benefit for Iowa Farm Bureau members.  Non-members are welcome to attend for $55 per family. 

For details on how to register for the Take Root workshops, go to