The Roundup -

Design Your Succession Plan


“Empowering families to get started on their succession plan.”

How will your family farm or ranch business operate in the future when the owner retires or is gone? Are you currently working with another generation who may be questioning their role in the future of the farm or ranch business or are you yourself questioning your current role?

More than 80 percent of farm and ranch families hope to pass the family farm or ranch on to the next generation, but research shows only 30 percent of family farms and ranches survive to the second generation, and only 12 percent survive to the third generation. A successful transition to the next generation takes careful planning.

To help North Dakota farm and ranch families start their succession planning process, the North Dakota State University Extension Service has developed a new interactive program, Design Your Succession Plan. This program will provide tools and resources for North Dakota producers who want to begin the succession planning process.

Participants will have an opportunity to open the lines of communication with family to create a shared vision for the family business. They will also learn to choose and work with professionals such as attorneys, accountants, lenders, insurance agents and tax experts to construct a plan and documents that put the family’s vision into action.

“The program will prepare you to envision, communicate, plan, write and shape the legacy of your family farm or ranch business, as well as save hundreds of dollars by completing these crucial planning steps before visiting with professionals,” said Marcia Hellandsaas & Karla Ryan, McKenzie County Extension agents.

This new program is being offered in multiple locations across North Dakota. Contact your county NDSU Extension Service office for information on a workshop near you or visit for more information.

Locally the program will be offered as a 3 evening course in Watford City, ND at the McKenzie County Courthouse. The program will run from 5:30 to 8:30pm CT December 1st, 3rd, and 10th. Please contact the Extension office for more information at 701-444-3451 or or


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