Investing for Farm Families

Name and Position/Title:
Bob Wells, Tim Eggers and Jim Jensen, Farm Management Filed Specialists

FY Submitted: 

POW Title and Number: 
123: Women decision-makers and leaders

Transferring the farm business to the next generation rarely is an abrupt process. The transition takes place over a number of years, with the younger generation needing to establish a firm financial footing as well as learning to manage the business. The focus of farm transition plans should have three objectives: 1) ensure that the assets provide the necessary income and resources for the exiting generation, 2) ensure that the assets of the business can remain a viable, functional, profitable business, and 3) minimize estate taxes, fees and associated court cost.

While farm transition plans may be simple or complex, good communications in the farming arrangement is a vital link to the success of the farming business. Cultivating good communications throughout the initiation, implementation, and completion stages of a transfer plan is highly desired.

Introduction of Investing for Farm Families as a Level II Annie’s Project curriculum addresses many of these issues.  Investing for Farm Families is designed to empower participants with the knowledge and skill to begin conversations leading to the establishment of goals not only for the farm business, but the individuals involved in the transition. Investing for Farm Families is a cornerstone of the discussion of farm business transitions.

Designed to be taught as self paced class utilizing the eXtension platform, Investing for farm families was introduced as a part of the base Annie’s Project classes in Chariton, Washington, La Mars and Clarinda. The challenges of participant registration and continued self study after the introduction were less than anticipated. Investing for Farm Families was also introduced as part of the Jefferson County Women in Agriculture program, enrollment in the course was not a part of this introduction. However, two full classes were scheduled for the winter FY-10 programming cycle.

Participants introduced to Investing for Farm Families immediately saw the necessity of combining the farm business and personal finances as a first step in developing goals for a farm transition plan. Most participants indicated that they would use the course material to develop goals and as a conversation starter in farm business transition planning. However, they also responded that they would rather invest up to 9 contact hours in a “hybrid” class environment than complete the course on the eXtension platform.

As a result of this participant evaluation, Investing for Farm Families will be taught as a stand-alone course incorporating the Annie’s Project best education methodology. It will be a cross discipline program, featuring research based information, local practitioner input and class discussion to achieve the educational objectives with option of participants gaining additional knowledge by enrolling in the eXtension program.   


123 Women decision-makers and leaders

Page last updated: June 30, 2010
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