COLUMBIA, Mo. – Free farm succession planning workshops from University of Missouri Extension can help Missourians guide their family farming businesses to the next generation.

To help families start the succession planning process and initiate communication, MU Extension will hold Preparing for Farm Succession Planning workshops across the state in March. Six workshops will be in-person events and one will be held online via Zoom.

“Having the difficult conversations and engaging in intentional communication are critical components of this process,” said MU Extension agricultural business specialist Wesley Tucker. “Our team is here to offer resources that can equip families for these conversations and help them protect the business and family harmony.”

Workshops will cover four major themes of transition: minimizing conflict, family meetings and communication, short-term operation plans and preparing for the next generation of management and ownership.

“Unlike estate plans, which are often set into motion after a funeral, succession plans should be proactive and not event-dependent,” Tucker said. “Our farm succession planning workshops give attendees a road map for preparing a plan that fits their farming operation’s unique situation.”

The Missouri Department of Agriculture has partnered with MU Extension to provide funding and programming for the workshop series.

“Unfortunately, few farm-family businesses have a plan for transitioning the operation to the next generation,” said Missouri Director of Agriculture Chris Chinn. “Missouri is blessed with numerous family businesses in the agriculture industry, and we’d like to keep it that way for years to come. I’m proud of the strides our department is making in conjunction with MU Extension and other local partners to coordinate workshops that help family businesses develop successful succession plans.”

“Starting the process, even just starting the conversation, around succession planning is intimidating for people,” said Kate Lambert, vice president of marketing at FCS Financial, another partner in the workshop series.  “These workshops will help attendees walk away with a clear idea of what questions need to be asked and what steps need to be taken. We are proud to help bring these events to local communities because these conversations are crucial for the success, and succession, of Missouri agriculture.”

The Preparing for Farm Succession Planning workshops are no-cost events, but registration is encouraged as FCS Financial will provide meals at each location. Learn more at

Workshop dates and locations

  • March 6 – Cook Station, 6-8:30 p.m.
  • March 7 – Hannibal, noon-2:30 p.m.
  • March 9 – Nevada, noon-2:30 p.m.
  • March 10 – St. Joseph, noon-2:30 p.m.
  • March 13 – Marshfield, 6-8:30 p.m.
  • March 15 – Poplar Bluff, 5:30-8 p.m.
  • March 16 – Online, 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.