KITTITAS COUNTY – Are you a farmer, rancher, or forest landowner concerned about the smooth transition of your family’s land to the next owner? Washington State University Extension is offering the award-winning “Ties to the Land” succession planning workshop in Ellensburg in December.

Succession planning is the human side of estate planning and is a way for families to maintain their ties to the land across multiple generations, building awareness of the key challenges facing family businesses and motivating families to address the challenges. It is a facilitated interactive workshop with video-based components that provides effective tools families can use to decide the future of their land. The workshop will wrap up with a presentation by an estate planning attorney specialized in family land transfers, so bring your questions!

Families usually attribute a high level of importance to succession planning but concede that they have not done enough preparation. Sometimes this is due to unresolved issues, passive communication styles, or uncertainty in people’s lives. Including younger generations in key discussion about the future of the family farm enhances the successful transfer of beliefs and values, compared to a “wait and see” approach. The workshop is a mix of presentations and practical exercises that help families address the key challenges of succession planning. Workshop participants learn about the legal and economic aspects of transferring a farm, forest or ranch from one generation to the next. Participants receive a “Ties to the Land” workbook and companion video collection, tools designed to help families to continue to improve and direct communication and planning at home.

Workshop attendance

The workshop will be offered Saturday, December 7, in the Armory Building on the Kittitas County Fairgrounds from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., located at 901 E. 7th Ave. in Ellensburg, WA. Registration for the workshop is $50 per family or ownership, and includes one workbook, a USB video and reference collection, refreshments, and lunch for one person. Additional lunches may be purchased at least one week in advance for $10 per person. Any attendee who feels s/he may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact WSU privately to discuss your specific needs (509) 962-7507.

Enrollment is limited to 30 families and registration is on a first come, first served basis. For more information, contact Andy Perleberg, (509) 667-6540,