BFRDP Projects

Securing Beginning Farmers Through Succession Planning Project
[Final Report]

Award Amount: $496,914
Grant Program: 2015 Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program Awards
Project Director: Paul Leverenz
Organization: Easter Seals Wisconsin


  • Overview
  • Results
  • Materials
  • Delivery Area
  • Comments

Project Overview

A partnership of Easter Seals Wisconsin (ESW), Wisconsin Farm Center (WFC), and University of Wisconsin-Extension (UWEX), the Securing Beginning Farmers Through Succession Planning project, in keeping with BFRDP goals, addresses the need of Wisconsin farmers who do not have succession plans in place (56% of farmers over the age of 55) to ensure the successful transition of farm operations to the next generation of beginning farmers, over a three year period. We successfully completed the three-year grant period by exceeding all project goals.

The long-term goal of the project was to increase the number of beginning farmers in Wisconsin and to enhance their sustainability, with the primary objective to provide the outreach and individualized, on farmsite, guidance, information and technical assistance necessary for farmers and farm families to develop and implement effective and sustainable succession plans for their farm business operations to transition to the next generation of beginning farmers.

UWEX provided statewide outreach to farmers and families; WFC Facilitators and ESW FARM Specialists provided senior farm operators and beginning farmers with the guidance, knowledge and tools needed to make informed decisions on continuation of the farm business, retirement plans, and financial, tax and inheritance issues.

During the three years of the project, 123 farmers were guided and encouraged to complete a succession plan by FARM Specialists, resulting in 62 individuals completing and finalizing an effective, sustainable plan for the next generation of beginning farmers to assume management of their own farm business operation, with the assistance of WFC Facilitators. Twenty-three others are in process.

Number of Participants: 123


Promotional Materials

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Educational Materials

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Reports & Evaluations

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Delivery Area

Describe any unexpected results of the project:

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Individual Stories / Examples of Success