PROGRAM OBJECTIVE: An important point to remember: farm succession planning requires family members to communicate openly and honestly with each other. This strategy builds trust and mutual respect between family members so that their farming operation has the opportunity to prosper for the next generation and to insure their family farming legacy continues with success. The ultimate goal of a successful succession plan must be directed at keeping the farm in the family as well as keeping family members on their farming operation for future generations.
This presentation examines the ‘real life what if family issues’ which often arise when transferring the actual ownership of a family farm from one generation (parents) to the next generation (their adult children). Without proper planning and effective communications, the process of passing on the farm can result in a lot of emotional stress between family members. These family obstacles and even personal fears become road blocks which prevent family members from working through this transition process without becoming tangled up in family disputes or even legal problems. Ignoring these issues now will only result in disastrous consequences later. There are nine challenges that farm families will often encounter as they begin their succession planning process. These challenges to succession planning must eventually be discussed and resolved to everyone’s agreement. This presentation will address each of these challenges and offer solutions for a farm family to achieve a successful transition of ownership to continue their farming legacy.