Keeping Your Farm in the Family for the Next Generation

The final Farmers & Ranchers College program for the 2012-13 programming year will be held on March 14, 2013 starting at 6:00 p.m. with a meal and the program to follow. It will be held at Evening with Friends Restaurant in Milligan and will feature Dr. Ron Hanson, Neal E. Harlan Professor of Agribusiness, Ag Economics Dept., UNL. A description of Hanson’s program is provided below.Logo

The entire process for mapping out a succession plan to transfer the eventual ownership of a family farm from one generation (parents) to the next generation (their adult children) can be an overwhelming task for many families.  Where does this process even begin?  Who makes the final decisions?  Can you be fair to everyone involved?  What if there is not good communications within the family?  How do you keep emotions and personal jealousies from taking over and preventing good decision making?  These are the issues that confront any farm family in determining a succession plan which allows for this successful transfer of farm ownership.

Most farm families would agree that a succession plan needs to be implemented and that any “what if family issues” need to be discussed and eventually resolved.  But this seldom ever happens.  Often farm families never can get past the “family obstacles and personal fears” that can actually become road blocks which prevent a succession plan from being put in place to protect the family farm and to insure that their family farming legacy continues to the next generation.   These obstacles and fears will be identified and discussed with potential solutions so that farm families can move forward in their succession planning process.

This presentation will outline the necessary steps to implement as well as achieve a successful succession plan that hopefully avoids potential misunderstandings between various family members. This lack of clarity and failure to explain specifics by parents when communicating their wishes to their children is often a frequent cause of family conflict/disputes.  Ideas will be shared to work through these emotional and stressful issues in a positive manner.  Parents must embrace a vision for passing on their farm that is shared by all family members involved for this succession process to achieve a successful transition of ownership to their adult children and to insure the next generation of young farm producers.

The Farmers & Ranchers College was formed in January, 2000 with the purpose of providing high quality, dynamic, up to date educational workshops for area agricultural producers in south central Nebraska through a collaborative effort between business, industry and higher education leaders.  The Farmers and Ranchers College Committee consists of Fred Bruning of Bruning, Bryan Dohrman of Grafton, Sarah Miller of Carleton, Eric Milton of Milligan, Jim Donovan of Geneva, Bryce Kassik of Geneva, Gordy Nuss of Sutton, and Brandy VanDeWalle of Ohiowa.

For more information on the various Farmers & Ranchers College programs, please go to the Fillmore Co. Extension website  or call the Fillmore County Extension office at (402) 759-3712.

1 thought on “Keeping Your Farm in the Family for the Next Generation”

  1. Reblogged this on JenREESources's Extension Blog and commented:
    I would encourage any farmers, spouses, and adult children to consider attending this Farmers and Ranchers Program! Communication and fair transition plans are keys to keeping family ties and the family farm strong. I’ve watched too often where communication doesn’t occur-even most recently with my extended family-and the heartache caused as a result. Work on the communication and transition plan now before it’s too late!

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