Ensuring a future for the family farm
Succession planning is a critical component to passing the farm from one generation to the next, but no two plans look alike.
Rudi Pitzer Perry with Farm Credit Mid America says farmers having the difficult conversation early on benefits everyone involved. “Through the whole process have clear communication,” she says. “You’re being open and honest with everybody so there are no surprises, because that’s what normally makes people very upset. Identify the successor and keep them involved in all the decisions so they can learn from you and get the opportunities to build the relationships.” Pitzer Perry says transitioning a turnkey operation overnight can be difficult, so allowing the next generation help in the decision-making process is important.
She tells Brownfield making sure the generation passing the farm on is taken care of financially is often overlooked — and it shouldn’t be. “That includes planning for the income piece of that,” she says. “But also if anything were to happen — long-term things like a nursing home situations are crucial. Insurance and different income options are ways to help do all that.”
Brownfield interviewed Pitzer Perry during Farm Science Review at the Molly Caren Agricultural Center in London, Ohio
AUDIO: Rudi Pitzer Perry, Farm Credit Mid-America