Succession Planning

Handing Over the Reins?

As part of Oregon Aglink’s work in education and outreach, we provide curated resources for issues important to agriculture in our state.

Succession planning can be a complex process that many farmers and ranchers will need to consider as they move toward retirement or other endeavors. Several organizations and companies exist to help you navigate the questions and paperwork with confidence.

If there are other resources you’ve found helpful or that you would like considered for this page, please contact our membership and programs director Allison Cloo via email (first [email protected]) or by phone at 971-600-0428.

OSU: Center for Family Enterprise

Formerly known as the Austin Family Business Program, the Center for Family Enterprise at Oregon State University has a mission to provide three pillars — education, outreach and research — to family businesses and their advisors throughout the region. They prepare family businesses to balance the well-being of the business, the family, and all individuals involved as they address challenges and opportunities, day to day and during succession.

Some highlights to check out:

Podcasts from the CFE address Family Business and Succession Planning

Family Business 360 is a monthly virtual discussion series on succession, communication, employee retention, and governance.

Advisor Search lets you look for help based on your region, industry, and other factors.

Introduction to Farm Succession Planning is a free online handbook

Nationwide: Land as Your Legacy

Nationwide’s Land as Your Legacy program is a holistic approach to succession planning – and it is available at no-cost to farm families. In 2022, Nationwide made several guide documents and checklists available at the Oregon Aglink Annual Membership Meeting for our members to use as they think about ownership and management transitions at their operations.

Looking to do an overview of where you are with succession planning and transition to the next generation of owners at your farm or ranch?
Try this Land as Your Legacy Transition Check-In (2 pages)

Wondering whether the LAYL team with Nationwide is the right fit for walking you through the rest of the process?
Try this Land as Your Legacy Client Guide (8 pages)

Gathering paperwork and information for your first meeting with a financial planner?
Try this Land as Your Legacy First Meeting Checklist (1 page)

Want to see an example of a full succession plan might look like with the help of a financial planner?
Check out the example here at Land as Your Legacy Sample Transition Plan (32 pages)

If you’re interested in learning more or have questions about getting started, get in touch with Oregon’s regional contact Kirk Marley at 503-551-4149.

Small Business Development Centers

The Oregon Small Business Development Center Network was launched in 1983 and is part of a nationwide network. In partnership with state universities and community colleges, their 19 conveniently-located centers and 25 satellite offices assist business people in every aspect of business development and management.

Oregon’s SBDCs deliver their services to anyone who owns or operates a business or is planning to start a business. In addition to no-cost confidential advising, they offer training and online courses that cover a wide range of business topics.

Interested in the advising they offer? Are you looking for courses that you, employees, or possible successors could take to learn more about small business management? Click below to explore their website and find a center near you.

Oregon Agricultural Trust

Oregon Agricultural Trust (OAT) was founded by farmers, ranchers, and land preservation stakeholders to increase the pace of ag land preservation in the state. Launched in 2020, they work primarily in geographic areas where there are gaps in working land preservation services.  In addition to land preservation, they partner with other organizations to help landowners pass their protected lands on to the next generation.

OAT preserves ag land mainly through donation and purchase of working land easements — voluntary agreements between a land trust and a landowner to remove development rights that interfere with farming and ranching. They also educate farmers, ranchers, attorneys, and the public about why and how to preserve farmland and plan for succession.

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