With the spring planting season coming up fast, it is easy to focus on developing a cropping plan, ordering inputs, maintaining machinery and setting a marketing plan for future commodities.
“However, there’s no better time than now to begin ensuring your farm’s legacy by starting your farm succession and estate plan,” said Scott Reuss, UW-Extension crops and soils agent for Marinette and Oconto counties.
“It is estimated that approximately 51 percent of Wisconsin farmers are over the age of 55 and more than 22 percent are over the age of 65,” said Reuss. “Proper planning is essential in order to transfer these farms to the next generation, smoothly and successfully.”
With challenges such as farm equity being the default retirement plan for the older generation, difficulty accessing financing for the second generation, equitable distribution of assets between siblings, and understanding tax, land transfer and healthcare rules, farm families can benefit greatly by consulting with financial, legal, tax and estate professionals to develop an effective transfer strategy.
To aid in farm-succession planning, the UW-Extension offices in Marinette, Oconto and Shawano counties are offering a farm succession workshop from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wednesday, March 22, at Premier Community Bank (745 State Road 32) in Pulaski.
The workshop will feature the following topics:
Methods for successful asset transfer to ensure a viable business for future generations, by George Twohig, attorney with Twohig, Rietbrock, Schneider Halbach Law Firm.
What if health care costs, cost you and your farm? How will you pay for long-term care when your health changes? by Romeo Raabe, long-term care insurance specialist.
What does it take to secure a loan? What is financially required of the next generation? by Lucas McMahon, commercial/ag loan officer with Premier Community Bank.
What is needed in a farm meeting to help you to succeed? How can farm meetings work for you? with Sarah Mills-Lloyd, Oconto County UW-Extension agriculture agent.
In addition to the above presentations, workshop attendees can participate in short, one-on-one consultations with George Twohig, Romeo Raabe, and/or Lucas McMahon during the afternoon.
Registration for the workshop is required by March 17. The registration fee, which includes meals and materials, is $25 per person or $40 per farm operation. Farms can register by calling the Shawano UW-Extension Office at 715-526-6126 or emailing Jamie Patton, Shawano County agriculture agent: firstname.lastname@example.org.