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Design Your Succession Plan: Opening the Lines of Communication

Please join us for our November Women in Ag webinar on farm succession planning. Our presenter will be Lori Scharmer, Family Economic Specialist for North Dakota State University Extension Service. Scharmer received both her BS and MS degrees from North Dakota State University.


Good communication is key to a successful farm or ranch succession plan. During this webinar we will explore the value of opening the lines of communication and the role women play in bringing the family together and getting the conversations started. We will discuss strategies for discussing sensitive issues that may create conflict. We will look at the differences in styles of communication by personalities, gender and between the generations. A family with good communication can accomplish the seemingly unachievable, while a family with poor communication will find any challenge impossible to overcome.


We will conclude the webinar with a discussion on choosing and working with professionals when designing a succession plan for a farm or ranch. When the family puts time into visioning and gathering information and documents they can save hundreds of dollars in professional fees.


Scharmer earned her master’s degree in Family Financial Planning and is an Accredited Financial Counselor. She provides educational programs and information on family finance topics ranging from succession planning to disaster recovery to health insurance literacy. In 2014 Scharmer lead an NDSU Extension Service team in developing the Design Your Succession Plan for farm and ranch families. The program emphasizes; getting started, opening lines of communication and working with professionals to construct a succession plan to put the family’s vision into action.


Scharmer was born and raised in North Dakota and now lives and works within the oil impacted areas of the state witnessing how an oil boom impacts the economy, the land and the people of her state.

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About the Extension Foundation

The Extension Foundation was formed in 2006 by Extension Directors and Administrators. Today, the Foundation partners with Cooperative Extension through liaison roles and a formal plan of work with the Extension Committee on Organization and Policy (ECOP) to increase system capacity while providing programmatic services, and helping Extension programs scale and investigate new methods and models for implementing programs. The Foundation provides professional development to Cooperative Extension professionals and offers exclusive services to its members. In 2020 and 2021, the Extension Foundation has awarded 85% of its direct funding back to the Cooperative Extension System, 100% of funds are used to support Cooperative Extension initiatives. 

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