In the summer of 2020, HMI began work on a Transfer Planning Manual to help producers use the Holistic Management process to help them more successfully complete transfer plans for their farms and ranches and keep these working lands working. HMI Certified Educators Ann Adams and Kathy Harris worked with a group of HMI Certified Educators with backgrounds in succession and transfer planning.
Once the manual was completed, we also developed companion educational materials to train a cohort of agricultural professionals in northern New Mexico to these materials. That group included: Corilia Ortega from Allianza Agricultura, Lawrence Gallegos of the Western Landowners Alliance, Tyler Eshleman from the Quivira Coalition and NM CEWL, Delane Atcitty from Indian Nations Conservation Alliance, Mary Leslie of Leslie Law, Don Peters from Not Forgotten Outreach, Susann Mickelson from Rocky Mountain Farmers Union and Christina Allday-Bondy of NM Healthy Soil Working Group. These virtual trainings took place during three evening sessions in September.
The goal of the training was to help these agricultural professionals to add the tools of holistic goal setting and holistic decision testing to their transfer planning toolbox as well as learn how these tools had been used by agricultural producers to create successful transfer plans. The results from the surveys show that these objectives were met.
|Transfer Planning Facilitator Training Survey Results|
|Question||% of participants|
|Did you learn about additional tools that will help you with your succession planning work?||100%|
|Would you recommend this goal setting tool to other succession planning professionals?||100%|
|Do you think you will be able to incorporate goal setting in your succession planning work more effectively because of today’s session?||100%|
|Do you think you will be able to incorporate the worksheets and templates you were provided in your succession planning work more effectively because of today’s session?||100%|
|Would you recommend this decision-testing tool to other succession planning||100%|
In particular, participants liked these components of the training:
|Examples stories were great, tools and resources as well as contacts given|
|Thinking through the holistic approach, and hearing examples from participants.|
|Weaving Holistic Management into succession planning|
|Having a holistic goal as an outcome. Having a facilitator aid in tough discussions. And possibly establishing a 20-year exit strategy.|
|1) You have to have all the decision makers. 2) You need to find common ground 3) You need to follow the process!|
|Hearing from others about their experiences, resources, ideas, and perspectives.|
|Being able to distinguish or categorize assets, not just the land/equipment. Using common language and goals to unify families. Lawyers are going to be helpful!|
|The forms you have developed make this very easy. They cover questions I had not used before. Getting the more reticent members of the family into the conversation looks more promising with your suggestions|
|Good to have more opportunity to apply the tools and get an overview of the manual.|
|Good to have another opportunity to use a case example with the templates.|
|Good practical application and review of the manual It provided more opportunity to me to work with the tools and templates and engage with producers wishing to use them. The break out groups to talk about scenarios The examples of ranchers implementing their plan of transferring their ranch to the next generation.|
To continue the learning for these agricultural educators, we scheduled another webinar for agricultural producers from northern New Mexico or Colorado to participate in a two-hour webinar on October 13th. We had 17 participants who were provided an overview of the goal setting and decision testing process and then were given two different transfer planning case studies to consider in a breakout session. Each session was led by one of the newly trained agricultural professional so they could practice facilitating the decision testing process with the producers.
As you can see from the table below, the producers found this webinar helpful and felt they could use the decision-making tool they had practiced in the breakout session. They also learned the importance of goal setting in successful transfer planning as well as the difference between management and asset transfer.
|Producer Webinar Poll Results|
|Question||% of participants|
|Would recommend this webinar to others||89%|
|Would be able to use this decision making tool after the webinar||89%|
|Learned the difference between management transfer and asset transfer||78%|
|Learned how to test decisions toward a holistic goal to improve decision-making||89%|
|Learned that goalsetting was a critical part of successful transfer planning||100%|
|Currently considering a transfer plan or working on one||81%|
Thank you to the Thornburg Foundation for their support of this curriculum development and training of agricultural professionals.
If you would like a copy of “Leaving a Lasting Legacy—A Holistic Approach to Transfer Planning” visit HMI’s Store.