Farm Transfer

According to Iowa State University, 60 percent of Iowa farmland is owned by people over the age of 65, and 35 percent of Iowa farmland is owned by those older than 75 years of age. Farmland in Iowa is changing hands and will continue doing so at an accelerating rate.

This presents a host of challenges and opportunities for farmland owners, heirs, aspiring farmers and tenants. This great transition includes not only the land, but also the farm businesses, compounding the complexities that many Iowa farmers and landowners are facing.

“Many farmers don’t talk much about money or anything else…and land transition takes talk. A lot of talk.”

                                                                                                                                                – Map of My Kingdom

Practical Farmers of Iowa is here to share stories and resources about the great farm transition that is currently underway. By bringing our member-led approach to farm transfer, we seek to connect farmers and landowners to share challenges, experiences and lessons learned. We believe that the more we talk about farm transfer the less mysterious this often-secretive process becomes, and the better equipped farmers and landowners will be to make thoughtful, intentional decisions about their personal farmland transitions.

Our Farm Transfer Programming

Four Tips for Communicating with Family about your Farm Legacy

Resources from 2020 Farm Retirement Workshops

Practical Farmers of Iowa and Syverson Strege hosted two “Understanding Farm Retirement” online workshops in early April. These workshops discussed retirement in the context of farm transition and succession.

Facilitated by financial planners from Syverson Strege, these workshops discuss retirement planning and implementation strategies and will laid out a roadmap to retirement as part of a larger farm transfer or estate plan. Attendees also heard about new legislation (the SECURE Act), effective December 2019, that includes changes to IRAs, 401(k)s, RMDs, and more.

Resource Packet (PDF)

Presentation slides (PDF)

Resources from 2019 Farm Transfer Workshops

Facilitated by Mike Downey of Next Generation Ag Advocates and Farm Financial Strategies, Inc., these workshops were a great opportunity to both learn more about farm transfer trends and succession strategies as well as meet other farmers and landowners wrestling with farm transfer questions.

We’ve uploaded some resources from the workshops, including slides and worksheets.

Resources from the 2019 Next Generation Summit

Sharing Farm Transfer Stories

Your Farmland and The Future (in collaboration with Peoples Company)

The Wepkings and Bickfords: The Beginnings of a Farm Transfer

The Three Sons and the 980 Acres: A farm transfer case study

The Nimrods: Honor community, sell the farm

The Dunphys: Retire and get out of the way

The James Family: Effective family farm meetings

Conserving a Farm’s Legacy

The latest on farm transfer

Non-PFI Resources

ISU Extension – Ag Decision Maker Transition and Estate Planning

UMN Extension – Transferring the Farm Series

Farmland Information Center

Land Stewardship Project – Farm Transition Tools

Land For Good’s Toolbox for Farm Transfer Planning

Farm Transfer Toolkit

Farmland Lease Builder Tool


Our members rely on a number of professionals and experts to help them make the difficult and complex decisions regarding farm and land transfer. A few of those experts and professionals that our members have found useful in their own transitions are included below.

Peoples Company

Sunderman Farm Management

PFI members recommend these attorneys


Have questions regarding farm transfer? Contact Martha McFarland at