According to research presented in a Penton Agriculture informational report released Tuesday, only one in five farms is actively preparing the next generation to take over the business.
With such a sobering statistic, farmers are returning their focus to selecting a successor and appropriately preparing that person – and the farm – for a leadership and ownership transition.
To help, Penton Agriculture has created a new report detailing the ins and outs of farm succession planning.
The new report, "Farm Succession Planning: Customizing a farm estate plan," can be downloaded farmprogress.com/successionplanningguide and is free to Penton Agriculture readers.
In this new free resource, Penton magazine contributors share their best ideas for farm succession planning – from creating a lifestyle plan for the outgoing farm owner to crafting a customized legacy plan for the farm itself.
The paper, designed to spark ideas and raise questions that can be taken to farmers' tax and estate professionals, provides insight on the farm succession planning process that is invaluable for making sense of a multi-faceted plan.
According to the paper, the farm estate plan is actually multiple plans in one. First, it should provide for the former farm owner's retirement. Next, it should spell out the future goals for the farm, as well as a successor's role, and lastly it should solve legal, tax and estate issues to the benefit of all stakeholders.
Though many farmers have started on a plan, the farm succession planning process might be far from complete. Penton's "Farm Succession Planning: Customizing a farm estate plan" paper can both bring new issues to light that some farmers hadn't yet considered and benefit farmers who haven't started on a plan.
While it's scary for many farmers to admit that they won't always be there to manage the family farm, the thought of going without a farm estate plan, complete with a named successor and a vision for the future, is scarier.
Don't get caught without a plan! Download Penton Agriculture's free "Farm Succession Planning: Customizing a farm estate plan" paper today.