Those are the words of Illinois farmer Chet Esther and he refers to succession planning, protecting your farm’s legacy and future. Transferring your farm to the next generation requires the right leadership and business management skills to ensure financial security and the American Soybean Association can get you started with the ASA Succession Planning Workshop in Fort Wayne in August.
Esther from Illinois has been through the process.
“For my family, and I have two sons that are farming with us, it brought the family together for us. We included the daughter in laws in every meeting that we had. When you have the family meeting and explain to the daughter in laws that the land that we have won’t be in their name, and why, and that their opportunity is for they and their husband to purchase land and then they can pass it on as they see fit, to have that conversation and get through it has brought us all closer together.”
He tells HAT there is much to learn in the workshop.
“It started out thinking how do we save the most tax dollars, but it became much more than that. Things like having a better business plan, things like buy-sell agreements and maybe some criss-cross life insurance for a partnership that my sons have gone into, and also an eye opener was the time and effort it takes. I’m not going to lie to you, it takes time.”
He says even if you think you already have a plan, it’s worth the time and effort to attend the workshop. ASA, in partnership with eLegacyConnect, is hosting the succession planning workshop from 9 AM -3 PM August 21st at Fort Wayne’s Landmark Center. Lunch is provided and registration can be done online. There is a minimal registration fee for each attendee. ASA members are $50 for first registrant and $30 for each additional family member/guest. Non-ASA members are $90 for first attendee and $70 for each additional family member/guest.
Other dates are Wednesday, July 30 in Sioux Falls, SD; Monday, August 4 in Memphis, TN; Wednesday, August 6 in Paducah,KY; August 19 Columbus, OH; and Thursday, December 4 Moline, IL.
“ASA is dedicated to enhancing and protecting the livelihoods of soybean producers. Today’s tax laws and regulatory landscape are making it harder to keep the farm in the family,” said Bob Worth, ASA membership and corporate relations chairman. “Succession planning is a watershed issue facing all soybean producers and these workshops will provide soybean producers with the basics in getting a succession plan started.”
The workshop is taught by Kevin Spafford, founder of Legacy by Design. Legacy by Design is a firm dedicated to succession planning for farm families and agribusiness owners. Over the last 10 years, he’s spearheaded initiatives to improve the way farmers, ranchers and agribusiness owners engage in the succession planning process.
The Succession Planning Workshops, titled “Five Keys to Effective Succession Planning” are sponsored by Farm Credit, AGCO, Illinois Soybean Association, Kentucky Soybean Association Michigan Soybean Association, Ohio Soybean Association and the South Dakota Soybean Association.