Farm Transfer Planning

Farm transfer planning is a process to determine how a farm will pass on to another farmer. The transfer plan addresses all pieces of the transfer puzzle—interpersonal, financial, and legal. It lays out a path for the transfer of farm management, income, and assets. A farm transfer plan typically addresses retirement needs, estate planning, changes in business structure, and conservation goals.

Transition Planning for Your Business

This is a six-part webinar series presented by John Baker of the Beginning Farmer Center at Iowa State and Dave Goeller of the North Center Risk Management Center at the University of Nebraska. The modules include: Introduction, What is Important, Communications, Planning for Retirement, Estate Planning for Succession and Transfer planning. The entire series is about 3 hours long. The website also includes a resources button that links to downloadable worksheets on farm transitions.

9 Business Succession-Planning Mistakes to Avoid

A list of transfer mistakes that small business owners commonly make
An article from the Financial Planning Association, 2003, 2 pages, Available online


On this site, you create an account and then are able to access a step-by-step guide that will walk you through all the aspects of planning for the future of your farm. The tool asks questions, you type in the answers, and then it saves them in your account. That way you can tackle this process bit by bit. The site also provides tips, resources and online assistance.

University of Minnesota, Center for Farm Financial Management

Business Transfer Guide for the Junior Generation and Business Transfer Guide for the Senior Generation 

Workbooks for transferees in a family transfer and for the exiting farmer; useful for non-family transfers too.

NY Farm Link, 2004, 34 pages, Order online, $12 each includes s/h

Components of a Farm Succession Plan

A clear discussion of transfer of labor, management, and ownership.

Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), 1999, 4 pages, Available online

Farm Succession Planning Steps and Checklist 

An outline of steps to take.Peter Coughler – OMAFRA; Christine Wenger – Acting Succession Planning and Business Agreements Program Lead/OMAFRAOntario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAF)2010, 10 pages

Farm Transfer and Estate Planning Fact Sheet 

A discussion of stewardship issues in estate planning

American Farmland Trust, Farmland Information Center, 2004, 1 page

Glossary for Succession Planning 

From NCFC Business Consulting

6 pages,

Overcoming Challenges in Succession Planning 

Dr. John Fast, President of Family Enterprise Solutions, shares tips and strategies to help you create an effective succession plan for your operation.

Farm Management Canada Video, 6 minutes

Planning the Future of Your Farm: A workbook supporting farm transfer decisions.

Please ensure you seek professional input for your state of residence in regards to information that changes across state borders, i.e. tax information.

Created and edited by Robert Andrew Branan, Attorney or the Virginia Department of Agriculture Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, and Virginia State University.
2012, 114 pages, Available online

Transfer of Farm Management Worksheet – 2 years 

From California FarmLink

1 page worksheet to help determine the pace of management transfer

Transferring Ownership and/or Retiring from Farming

Three ways that farmers can transfer their assets

Dennis Kauppila, University of Vermont Extension Service, 2003, 9 pages

Your Land Is Your Legacy: A Guide to Planning for the Future of Your Farm
A comprehensive guide to conservation options and farm transfer

Jeremiah P. Cosgrove and Julia Freedgood, American Farmland Trust (AFT), 2002, 58 pages, Abstract available online

Order by calling American Farmland Trust at (800) 370-4879