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Thriving across generations: Succession planning in rural Kansas
Stacy Campbell
Stacy Campbell

Planning for the future is vital and families must take steps to ensure assets for the next generation. To support Kansas families through the process, K-State Research and Extension is partnering with the Small Business Development Center at Fort Hays State University to host the program, “Thriving Across Generations: Succession Planning in Rural Kansas” from 5:30 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, March 11. Registration will begin at 5 p.m. 

The event will be at the Fort Hays State University Memorial Union, 700 College Drive in Hays.

The featured speaker for this event is Rick Feltenberger, regional director at the FHSU Kansas Small Business Development Center. Rick is a serial entrepreneur, a decorated combat veteran, and former Fortune 500 executive with rich experience and a deep background in starting, funding, buying/selling, exiting, and operating successful businesses. 

Participants will also choose one of three breakout sessions. Farm succession planning will be led by Roger McEowen, professor of agricultural law and taxation at Washburn University’s School of Law. McEowen conducts approximately 80-100 seminars annually across the United States for farmers, agricultural business professionals, lawyers and other tax professionals. He will provide a road map for successfully navigating the roadblocks to creating a plan for the future continuity of family farming or ranching business. Tom Byler with Emporia State University and Washburn SBDCs will discuss Small Business Succession. Tom is a member of the Kansas SBDC Succession Planning Team, and holds Certified Exit Planning Advisor certification. His presentation provides an overview of the Succession Planning process for small businesses. FHSU’s Tony Gabel is the Associate Professor of Business Law at FHSU (focus in Estate Planning and Transactional Law). He will speak about estate plans for families and review his checklist of everything you will need to start the estate planning process. The dinner guest speaker will be Kaley Conner who is the Coordinator of Marketing, Prevention, Education and Outreach of High Plains Mental Health. Kaley is passionate about reducing the stigma around mental illness. Her presentation will discuss stress management and self-care strategies to nurture mental health and prevent burnout. 

The early registration of $20 per person includes a meal and an estate planning notebook. Register at Early registration is due by March 9. Registrations after March 9 and at the door will be $30, with no guarantee of a meal and materials.

For questions, call the K-State Research and Extension Cottonwood District office in Hays at 785-628-9430.

Stacy Campbell is an Agriculture and Natural Resources agent for Cottonwood Extension District. Email him at or call the Hays office, 785-628-9430.