Non-Family Members and Your Farm’s Legacy

It’s estimated that 20% of U.S. farms do not have a next generation who will take over. That means these business owners have begun to consider partnering with non-family members. Agricultural expert Dr. Dave Kohl has some advice for this process:

  1. Make a list of business, family, and personal goals. What do you hope to accomplish in one, three, and five years?
  2. Define roles. This step is crucial. Dr Kohl, writes, “What are all the ways — from production to management to finance — that roles and responsibilities are going to transfer over the years?” Ultimately, the older generation should be mentoring the younger generation, but the younger generation should be learning how to manage the business, meet with a lender, and create a budget.
  3. Make sure everything is in writing, including an exit plan if need be. Dr. Kohl also suggests having a third party review everything and make sure both parties stay accountable. Our CPAs are experienced with succession planning and would be happy to speak with you about the process.

To read more, and to watch a short video from Dr. Kohl, see the full article.