Farm succession planning is never easy, but it can be done. That’s why the 2012 Farm Futures Business Management Summit, to be held Jan. 5-6 in St. Louis, includes sessions that can help you map out the future of your farm.
In a recent Farm Futures survey, over a quarter of all farmers revealed they were not sure who would take over the farm after they were gone. About half of those under 40 were unsure who would take over for them. Succession planning – or the lack of it – remains one of the thorniest issues for family farms, says Dick Wittman, Idaho rancher and a leading expert on farm succession planning.
Wittman will give two summit presentations, focusing first on alternative business models for farms without heirs, and second, best strategies for family succession planning.
“There are a lot of innovative ways that people can get into this industry if they haven’t inherited or married it, but it absolutely is mandatory that you network with other parties,” says Wittman.
The alternative business model session will include how to pursue arrangements that do not involve heirs, best options, a look at what other farmers have tried, and the typical obstacles to success.
Even when families know who is “next in line,” they often delay planning.
“Not having a plan could put the people who could be candidate successors at real risk to fail,” says the Idaho rancher. “It’s not that people don’t want to plan; it’s more like they have a paralysis on where to start the process. It’s a huge task, but it’s doable. It’s just a matter of breaking it down in pieces.”
The 2012 summit has one of the strongest speaker lineups in its eight-year history. Speakers include Dave Kohl, Danny Klinefelter, Moe Russell, Darrell Dunteman and Darren Frye. Get the full agenda here.
The summit will be held at the Sheraton Westport Hotel in St. Louis. Registration is $449 and additional registrants from your farm business pay just $399 per person.
Click here to register and lock in your discount room rate of just $99 per night. See you in St. Louis!