Communication barriers to family farm succession planning

Matthew S. Kaplan, Jon F. Nussbaum, John C. Becker, Craig Fowler, Margaret J. Pitts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Many farm families fail to take succession planning actions even when information is available on the tax, business organization, and investment aspects of this process. In semi-structured interviews conducted with multi-generational members of nine small farm families in Pennsylvania, most respondents attributed a high level of importance to succession planning, but conceded that they had not done enough planning. Passive communication styles, unresolved issues, and uncertainty in their lives were inhibiting factors. Rather than rely on a "wait and see" approach, it helps to be inclusive of younger generations in key discussions and decisions about the future of the farm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Extension
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2009


  • Communication
  • Family farm
  • Intergenerational communication
  • Succession planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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