Farming in Iowa is seldom easy, but farm families who develop solid business plans and stick to them are usually the ones who come out ahead season after season.

It’s the same for passing a farm down from generation to generation, according to Nathan Katzer, Iowa Farm Bureau Fed­­eration (IFBF) business development manager who leads the IFBF’s Take Root farm succession program.

Those families willing to do the work to develop flexible and workable succession plans tend to be the ones who are able to survive and pass farming operations from generation to generation, he said.

"It’s important to remember that setting up a succession plan won’t happen in one Take Root session, or in a single season," Katzer said recently during a seminar at the IFBF annual...