BROOKINGS SDSU Extension will host a Sustaining the Legacy virtual conference on Dec. 2, 9 and 16 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. CST each evening. The series will focus on transitioning farms and ranches to the next generation and will provide tips and tools to participants to ensure the transition accomplishes the goals of their operations.

“Approximately a third of South Dakota’s agricultural land is owned by someone 65 or older,” said Heather Gessner, SDSU Extension Livestock Business Management Field Specialist. “This ground will transfer to the next generation farmer or rancher in the next 10 years or so. Developing a plan that accomplishes the goals of the family and the operation will ensure a continuation of agricultural production, family values and traditions, and main street businesses and schools.”

The conference is designed for those with farming and ranching heirs returning to the operation. Participants will learn about methods to pass on farm and ranch assets and business, as well as methods to provide financial inheritance to non-farming and ranching children. Specific topics include:

• Trusts

• Business structures, LLC’s and Corporations

• Life Insurance

• Wills and probate

• Titling property

• Contracts

• Retirement planning for landowners

Estate planning and farm transition attorneys, in addition to other industry experts, will present the material. Participants will also be given the opportunity to sign up for further estate planning assistance from a certified farm and ranch transition coordinator.

”Face-to-face meetings are not feasible or advisable in today’s COVID-19 climate, so we will utilize a virtual platform to provide information, educate, and assist South Dakota’s producers the best way we can,” said Gessner.

Those interested can register at A link to join the conference will be provided to participants upon registration.

For questions and additional information, contact Heather Gessner, SDSU Extension Livestock Business Management Field Specialist, at or (605) 782-3290.

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