Two-Day Workshop to Train Facilitators in Farm Transition


         The Center for Dairy Excellence and the S. Dale High Center for Family Business are hosting a two-day training on facilitating the family farm transition process. The two-day workshop, "Building a Bridge to Dairy Transition," is being held on Wednesday, May 30, from 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. in Harrisburg and on Tuesday, June 5, from 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. in Elizabethtown. Dairy professionals interested in participating are encouraged to attend both days of the workshop.

        "As the average age of Pennsylvania?s dairy farm owners approaches 58 years old, many have already or will soon encounter the need to develop a blueprint to transition farm ownership and management to the next generation," says John Frey, executive director of the Center for Dairy Excellence. "Transition plans that are poorly developed can place a significant burden on those involved and can sometimes lead to the demise of the business. Pennsylvania cannot afford to lose these farms."
        To help "build the bridge? to successful transitions, the center has partnered with the Center for Family Business to train dairy professionals to serve as facilitators available to help these farms work through the complex planning process involved with a farm transition. Any dairy professional with an interest in facilitating farm succession or transition planning can register, but space is limited to the first 30 participants.
        The training is offered in two parts. Day one of the workshop will address "Breaking the Communications Barrier," covering the dynamics surrounding intra-family communications and the steps necessary in structuring successful family business transitions. Day two will offer advice on "Navigating the Difficult Decisions," with representatives from Persun & Heim, AgChoice Farm Credit, Acuity Advisors and New York State Life addressing the legal, financial planning, accounting and insurance aspects of a farm transition.
        Mike McGrann, executive director of the S. Dale High Center for Family Business, will lead the discussion on family business dynamics and facilitate the discussion on Day Two of the workshop. McGrann has conducted seminars for family business, executive education programs, and personalized educational workshops for family groups around the world. He teaches classes on entrepreneurship, family enterprising, and new venture creation.
        During both days, participants will work together in round tables to think through case studies involving farm transitions. As a pre-requisite, participants are encouraged to bring a case study of their own on a business involved in the transition planning process to use in group discussions.
        The cost to participate in the two-day training is $150 per person, discounted to $75 for those associated with a center "Ally for Advancement" at the silver level or higher. Registration costs are being supported by the grant from the Southeastern Pennsylvania Agriculture Partnership.
        A full registration brochure can be found online at Click on "?Building a Bridge? Train the Trainer Workshop" under "Upcoming Events." Or contact the center at 717-346-0849 or All registrations are due by May 10, 2012. However, space is limited, and only the first 30 registrations will be accepted into the program.