Kansas State University and the Kansas Farm Analyst Program will offer Keeping the Family Farming Workshops for families who are working through the benefits and challenges of incorporating family members and others into a farm operation or passing the family farm business from one generation to the next.

"Farm transition planning is difficult in the best circumstances," said LaVell Winsor, agricultural economist with the Kansas Farm Analyst Program. "Often it takes a lot of time for families to figure out the best route for their family and operation. With the average age of farmers and ranchers in their upper 50s, it's critical that agriculture families be making plans now."

The Kansas Farm Analyst Program is part of K-State Research and Extension.

To get the full benefit of the training, Winsor said, participants should attend as a family. They will receive hands-on guidance that will be relevant to their own farming operation on such topics as: Where Do You Stand Financially?; Communicating Effectively With Those You Live and Work With; Planning for Retirement; Estate Planning; Your Business´ Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT); Putting Your Game Plan into Action; Determine Your Current Financial Position; and others.

Each workshop will be two days, Winsor said. The Beloit sessions will be Jan. 9 and 23, 2010 at the Zion Lutheran Church at 621 N. Mill St. The Hiawatha sessions will be Jan. 16 and 30, 2010 at the Fisher Community Center, 201 E. Iowa St.

The first session at both locations will begin with registration at 9 a.m. and the program starting at 9:30 a.m. Lunch will be provided and the day will wrap up at 5:30 p.m.

The second session at both locations begins at 9:30 a.m. and goes until 7:30 p.m. Lunch and supper will be provided.

The early registration fee (paid by Dec. 15) for Kansas families is $250 per family of four, with additional family members at $75 each. Out-of-state families also are welcome to participate, Winsor said. The early fee (paid by Dec. 15) for out-of-state families is $325 per family of four, with additional participants at $100 each. Registrations received after Dec. 15 will be assessed an extra $75 per family unit.

Registration and other information is available on the Web site: www.agmanager.info or by contacting Rich Llewelyn at 785-532-1504.