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OSU Extension office working on succession planning
Herald and News 9/2/08

   In the fall of 2007, the Oregon State University Extension Service, working with the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association, won a competitive grant from the USDA’s Risk Management Agency for a commodity partnership program grant. 

   OSU Extension proposed to do a series of workshops throughout the state on succession planning, or plans to pass on farms and ranches to the next generation. 

   Bart Eleveld, with OSU Extension Service in Corvallis, helped develop the “Family Farm Succession Planning” workshops, which were hosted twice in five locations — Klamath Falls, Eugene, Prineville, Burns and Baker City. 

   The issue of succession planning is an important one, Eleveld said, because, though there are fewer farms and ranches, the size of operations has increased from a generation ago, as has the value. 

   “In general this issue has not been addressed by a majority of family farms and ranches,” he said. “That’s not to say that every one is going to fail, but certainly the potential is much higher (without a plan in place).”

   Although applications for a follow-up grants have been unsuccessful, Eleveld said his office is working on a DVD tutorial, built on video from the former workshops, and other avenues, such as making workshop materials available online so the information is available after the grant money is gone. 

   Local workshops 

   Several county extension centers, including the Klamath Basin Research and Extension Center, have developed offshoot workshops. 

   “It’s our view that succession planning is a dynamic process. It’s not something you do one time and put in a file and forget about it,” Eleveld said. “It’s ongoing, needs to be reexamined, reevaluated and sometimes redone. For any family farm, there are life events that can change the plan and how it’s going to be done.” 

   Workshop materials can be found on Oregon State University’s Web site at, arec.oregonstate.edu/succession.html.
Planning in Southern Oregon 

   Oregon State University’s Klamath Basin Research and Extension Center has developed its own version of the succession-planning workshop, gearing it to include not only farms and ranches, but all businesses. 

   The two-part workshop will begin Sept. 24 at the OSU Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center, 569 Hanley Road, Central Point. The second workshop will be Oct. 22 at Klamath Basin Research and Extension Center offices at 3328 Vandenberg Road in Klamath Falls. Both workshops run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

   For more information contact 883-7131 or e-mail Willie Riggs at Willie.Riggs@oregonstate.edu    
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