ONTARIO - Succession - moving a business from one generation to the next - is the most challenging issue that family businesses face.

Oregon State University's Austin Family Business Program, with corporate partner U.S. Bank, is offering workshops Monday, March 8, for agricultural-based family businesses and Tuesday, March 9, for all family businesses. The workshops are co-sponsored by the Treasure Valley Community College Small Business Development Center and OSU's Jackman Foundation.

Geared for ranch, farm and agribusiness owners, successor candidates, spouses and key managers, the Monday workshop is set for 5-9 p.m. at Treasure Valley Community College, Workforce Training Center, S.W. 5th Street, in Ontario. Participants can see a family business in action on a tour hosted by the Kamoto family that begins at 4 p.m. at the Ontario Produce Co., Inc.

To register, or for more information, call toll-free, 1-800-859-7609 or 1-541-737-3326.

Many of the same issues will be discussed at the general family business workshop on March 9 from 8 a.m. to noon, also at Treasure Valley Community College. A tour of the Andersen Ranch, hosted by the Andersen family, will follow the workshop.

Each session is $75, or $50 for business customers of U.S. Bank.

The focus of the workshops is to give family business teams an opportunity to learn the basics, share experiences and concerns with other families, and develop an action plan for succession.

During the workshops, business owners will consider issues about leadership, ownership and relationships as related to succession. Participants will learn about effective planning and have a chance to hear from a panel of family business owners who will share their succession stories.

Through hands-on learning opportunities and lectures, OSU's Austin Family Business Program works to foster healthy family businesses throughout the region.

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Maureen Reeves, 541-737-6018