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The Center for Agroforestry

UMCA News Release

MU Center for Agroforestry pens new guide to make forestland succession successful

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

COLUMBIA, Mo. - Keeping forestland in the family from generation to generation isn't always easy in this day and age. The latest Agroforestry in Action guide from the University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry aims to make this process a little simpler.

"Succession Planning for Woodland Owners," AFA 1013, written by David Watson, financial advisor and Missouri Tree Farmer, and Larry Godsey, economist, MU Center for Agroforestry, aims to help the current owners of family forestland assess their situations and prepare for a successful transition to the next generation of owners.

"Family forest owners have a large economic stake in one of America's most important resources - its forestland," Godsey said. "Families who own forestland today are often faced with a vast array of financial and personal challenges as they contemplate how to preserve this asset for future generations."

About 42 percent of the nation's forestlands are in private ownership. The majority of these privately owned, family forests may change hands over the next several decades as the current generation of owners ages.

UMCA's publication lays out steps and considerations by addressing in depth the three important aspects of succession planning: the team, the tools and the tasks.

"There is a lot to consider in planning a transfer from the current to the future generation of forestland owners, and each person's situation is unique," Godsey said. "This guide makes sure forestland owners have all of the facts in front of them before they begin their plan."

The new guide is available both online and in print. Go to to see and print the guide in PDF, or contact Michelle Hall, MU Center for Agroforestry senior information specialist, at to order a copy. The publication also can be printed and/or ordered at

--Michelle Hall
Senior Information Specialist
Center for Agroforestry University of Missouri

Larry Godsey, 573-884-3216

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