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SDSU Extension Increases Access to Sustaining the Legacy Conference

BROOKINGS, S.D. - Sustaining the Legacy has been the South Dakota State University (SDSU) Extension farm and ranch estate planning and farm transition program since 2006. Over the years, the program has been hosted as multi-day events and large, single-day conferences, providing 15-minute to three-hour presentations to producers across the state.

Starting in the fall of 2021, SDSU Extension will host two-day Sustaining the Legacy Conferences in five different locations across the state of South Dakota.

“With the drought this season, many producers are not able to leave their operation for a large, multi-day conference,” says Heather Gessner, SDSU Extension Livestock Business Management Field Specialist. “By bringing the conference to them, it will be easier for them to participate and gain the information they need to develop a plan that accomplishes the goals of the family and the operation to ensure a continuation of agricultural production, family values and traditions, and main street businesses and schools.”

The conference is designed for farming and ranching families at all stages of operation transition. Participants will learn about methods to pass on farm and ranch assets and business, as well as methods to provide financial inheritance to non-farming and ranching children. Specific topics include:

  • Trusts
  • Business structures, LLCs and corporations
  • Life insurance
  • Wills and probate
  • Titling property
  • Contracts
  • Retirement planning for landowners
  • How to access retirement benefits (Medicare, Social Security)
  • Elder and end-of-life care planning

Estate planning and farm transition attorneys, in addition to other industry experts, will present the material. Participants will also be given the opportunity to sign up for further estate planning assistance from a certified farm and ranch transition coordinator, financial counseling from an Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC®) and care conversations with a trained gerontologist.

Locations and dates are:

  • Rapid City:  Oct. 21 and 22, 2021
  • Aberdeen: Nov. 15 and 16, 2021
  • Pierre: Dec. 9 and 10, 2021
  • Mitchell: Jan. 11 and 12, 2022
  • Yankton: Feb. 7 and 8, 2022

Each location will be limited to 30 participants. “We are limiting participation at each location to create an interactive learning environment to maximize impact for conference attendees,” says Gessner.

To learn more, please visit the SDSU Extension events page and search for “Sustaining the Legacy Conference.” For questions and additional information, contact Gessner at or 605-782-3290.