Workshop to Give Helpful Information on Leaving Farms to the Next Generation

Pennsylvania Department of AgricultureAgribusiness professionals who serve Pennsylvania's farm families can learn how to help their clients transition the farm to the next generation through a one-day professional development workshop.

"Tackling the Farm Succession Topic with Customers: A Training for Ag Professionals" will be 9 a.m.–4 p.m. on Wednesday, June 26, at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center in Harrisburg.

The conference is hosted by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture's Center for Farm Transitions and PA Farm Link.

"Farm transition planning can be a difficult topic to discuss," said Agriculture Secretary George Greig. "Sometimes casual conversations are the best time to talk about the farm's future. This conference will help you make the most of your visits with your customers and help the next generation of Pennsylvania agriculture."

Open to anyone working in agribusiness and interacting directly with farmers, the conference will help professionals best guide their customers on the farm transition path. Speakers will discuss how to facilitate conversation, answer questions responsibly and find the right tools to help the transitioning farm family.

Attendees will receive the workbook ‘Planning the Future of Your Farm.'

Presenters will include:

• Joy Kirkpatrick, outreach specialist with the University of Wisconsin, discussing strategies for communicating with farm families;
• Jennifer Denchak Wetzel, attorney with Persun & Heim, P.C., drawing the line between friendly and legal advice;
• Jared Grissinger, PAgrows, outlining the decision making process and highlighting assistance available from the center; and
• Darlene Livingston, executive director of PA Farm Link, reviewing common questions, the difference between fair and equal calculations and the Planning the Future of Your Farm workbook.

Registration is $20 per person, recommended in advance, but available at the door. Lunch will be provided. Group sponsorships and individual scholarships are available.

For those not able to attend in person, a phone and web connection will be available and workbooks will be mailed. Contact Jared Grissinger with the center at 1-888-724-7697 or visit for more info.


9 a.m. – Registration and refreshments

9:30 a.m. – Welcome and Introductions

9:45–11 a.m. – Communication and Farm Succession: Practical How-Tos of Farm Business Meetings – Joy Kirkpatrick, outreach specialist, University of Wisconsin Center for Dairy Profitability, International Farm Transition Network board member

11–11:10 a.m. – Break

11:10–11:40 a.m. – Personality/Communication Worksheet Activity, Joy Kirkpatrick

11:40 a.m.–12:30 p.m. – Lunch (provided)

12:30–1:15 p.m. – Resource Panel on Programs Available to Pennsylvania Farm Families Featuring: Ag Choice Farm Credit, Farm Service Agency, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau MSC Business Services, Penn State Extension, Center for Dairy Excellence, Center for Beef Excellence, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Bureau of Farmland Preservation, Pennsylvania Farm Link

1:15–1:45 p.m. – Breakout Session: Farm Succession Case Study

1:45–2:45 p.m. – Farm Succession Overview

2:45–3:30 p.m. – Drawing the Line Between Friendly and Legal Advice – Jennifer Denchak Wetzel, attorney, Persun & Heim, P.C.

3:30–3:40 p.m. – Wrap Up, Evaluation
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