Make Succession Planning a Success for Your Family & Farmland – Webinar on March 9th

three generations farm family

You cherish your family. You cherish your farmland. So why is figuring out a plan for the combined futures of your family and farmland so hard?

In the short run, it can seem easier to avoid the hard conversations. So farmland-owning families often don’t have any succession plan in place. And sometimes they have plans that look reasonable in theory but don’t consider realities of family dynamics or farm operations. 

We know of an Illinois family where the grandmother’s will revealed that just over 200 acres of land had been passed on to 12 relatives in joint ownership of two parcels. That might have sounded fair and loving, but the practical realities are likely to be the opposite.

To help farmland-owning families move from good intentions to tangible steps forward, we, along with The Land Conservancy of McHenry County, are organizing a webinar on Wednesday, March 9 entitled “Making Succession Planning a Success for Your Family & Farmland.”  

“The future of farming in Illinois rests in part on families successfully passing on farmland to the next generation in ways that position the next generation for success,” says Nathan Aaberg, director of conservation and working lands for the Liberty Prairie Foundation. “We hope this webinar will help families jumpstart their planning so they have closer family bonds and pride in the future they are giving their farmland.”

Joy Kirkpatrick of the University of Wisconsin Center for Dairy Profitability will present the first session of the webinar. She will share insights about the family issues that can keep families from getting a planning process, how to overcome them, and how a succession facilitator can be invaluable in helping your family develop a plan efficiently and fairly.

Over the course of 25+ years of Extension work for the University of Wisconsin, Joy has facilitated hundreds of farm succession discussions with farm businesses and farm families. 

Mike Downey of Next Gen Ag Advocates will then help you understand the other experts you will need in the process, how to choose them, and his tips on how to make the process work well when there are no next generation family members interested in farming.

A graduate of the University of Illinois, Mike is an accredited farm manager, a certified farm succession coordinator through the International Farm Transfer Network, and has 21 years of experience in land management and real estate services. 

You’ll finally hear from a farm family that has already made significant progress in their succession planning.  

Please share news of this webinar with families that own farmland and who would benefit from investing their time in giving their families and their farms the best future possible.

The webinar will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on March 9th. Register here. $10/family.

Questions? Please contact Nathan at