Farm/Ranch Transition Workshops: When You're Not in Control

Farm/Ranch Transition Workshops: When You're Not in Control September 28, 2018

A farmer once said, “No one has the right to automatically inherit a family farm or ranch, but everyone has the right to know what is going on.”

Passing a farm or ranch on to the next generation is a tough job, especially if the next generation is unsure of what will happen when their parents pass. An upcoming Nebraska Extension workshop series is designed especially for those family members unsure of transition plans.

The workshops will focus on the needs of the “sandwich generation” — the generation between parents who still own the land and the grandchildren who may want to join the operation.

Lack of communication often hinders transitions. The Gen2, or Sandwich Generation, will learn how to communicate with family to understand the transition and practice asking difficult questions. A handbook and script will help farmers/ranchers to complete transition “homework.”

Legal topics will center on Gen2 needs, including elements of a good business entity, levels of control and access for on-farm heirs, and how to turn agreements into effective written leases. Joe Hawbaker, estate planning attorney, and Allan Vyhnalek, Nebraska Extension transition specialist, will share information from their experiences developing successful plans. 

Transition of the land is important, but farmers and ranchers also need to transition the business. Dave Goeller, financial and transition specialist, will cover financial considerations, retirement, and compensation versus contribution.

Many families struggle to split assets fairly between on-farm and off-farm heirs, while continuing to grow the operation's business. Goeller will discuss the family side and what to consider when dividing assets.  Vyhnalek will cover less-than-ideal situations, negotiating, and looking for other business options.

Workshop Schedule

Workshops will be held from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (local time) at the following sites:

Cost is $20 per person. If more than two people are attending per operation, the cost is $15/person.  Pre-register at the local extension office at least one week prior to the event you plan to attend to provide for a meal count. 

Funding for this project was provided by the North Central Extension Risk Management Education Center (USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture Award Number 2015-49200-24226).