Farm and Ranch Succession Transition Workshops

Farm and Ranch Succession Transition Workshops

Considerations for passing on your farm or ranch to the next generation will be the focus of three Farm and Ranch Estate Planning Workshops to be held this month: Tuesday, March 20 in Neligh, Friday, March 23 in Wilber, and Thursday, March 29 in Loup City. 

March 20 in Neligh and March 23 in Wilber

Next week Nebraska Extension will be hosting two workshops on farm succession and transition planning.

Please register by noon Monday, March 19, for the Tuesday, March 20 workshop to be held at the Antelope County Extension office at 501 M St. in Neligh. To register call the extension office at 402-887-5414.

Please register by noon Tuesday, March 20, for the Friday, March 23 workshop to be held at the Nebraska Extension office at 306 West 3rd Street in Wilber.  To register call the extension office at (402) 821-2151

Both Nebraska Extension workshops will be from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Cost to attend is $20 per farm operation and $10 for each additional family member.  The registration fee covers the meal, handouts, and presentations.

Presenters will include Allan Vyhnalek, UNL extension educator for farm and ranch succession and transition, and Joe Hawbaker, an agricultural attorney from Omaha.

One presentation will focus on the decisions and situations which should be addressed when thinking about how your farm or ranch estate will be passed.  Topics will include: the need for planning, family communications, who makes the decisions, concept of fair versus equal, preparing to meet with an attorney, and much more.  The presentation is designed to give some basic information to those who haven’t started to think about their succession or transition plan for their assets.

Hawbaker has worked with farmers for over 30 years and will cover the legal aspects of end-of-life decision making, including estate-planning basics (including incapacity planning), succession tools and how to use a decision tree. 

Participants at previous events always report that they wished they would have started planning for transition sooner.  The consequences of not having an appropriate plan in place can jeopardize the financial stability and future of the family operation. More importantly, individuals need to make their wishes known to others so the legacy of the farm or ranch can be passed to the individuals or entities intended.

For more information or assistance, please contact Randy Pryor, Nebraska extension educator, phone (402) 821-2151.

March 29 in Loup City

This workshop is offered in two parts: Succession and Estate Planning (morning session) and Ag Liens and Loans (afternoon session).  It will be held from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. March 29 at the Community Center in Loup City. Speakers will be Joe Hawbaker, agricultural law attorney with Hawbaker Law Office in Omaha, and Dave Goeller, agricultural finance and transition specialist.

The workshop, which is free, includes lunch. To register call the Rural Response Hotline at 1-800-464-0258.

The morning session, Estate and Succession Planning, is for established farm and ranch owners, their successors, and beginners. Topics include:  stages of succession planning, contribution and compensation, balancing the interests of on-farm and off-farm heirs, the importance of communication, setting goals,  and assessing feasibility; beginning farmer loan and tax credit programs; estate planning issues and tools, including incapacity planning, taxes, co-ownership, direct and indirect ownership; legal tools for balancing the interests of on-farm and off-farm heirs; asset protection; use of entities; and examples of planning. 

The afternoon session, Liens and Loans, will cover Nebraska's statutory agricultural liens. These are liens that give creditors rights in certain property, such as crops, feed and livestock, to secure payment of obligations for goods or services, such as seed, fertilizer, ag chemicals, petroleum products, veterinary assistance, cattle care, harvest work and machine repair.  The discussion will focus on identifying the liens and understanding how they work from the producer's perspective.  The afternoon session will also address agricultural loans, providing producers with an inside look at “What your lender is looking for.”  The impact of collateral, cash flow, credit score, character and trends on loan applications will be discussed.  A brief overview of balance sheets, trend sheets and ratio analysis also will be included. 

The Loup City workshop is made possible by the North Central Risk Management Education, Nebraska Network for Beginning Farmers and Ranchers, the Farm and Ranch Project of Legal Aid of Nebraska, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Nebraska Department of Agriculture’s Next Gen, Nebraska Farmers Union Foundation, and Nebraska Extension.