When I think about farm succession I think of my children. Not because the children are our future, to quote a Whitney Houston song, but because of their normal nighttime routine.
Let me explain.
Like most little kids, mine are experts at putting off going to bed at the expected time. Many excuses come up in the last 10 minutes before bed -- from long trips to the bathroom to stare at themselves making goofy faces in the mirror, to finding that right stuffed animal to sleep with, to all of a sudden being extremely worried about the farm cats sleeping in the dark.
This is a bit how I picture how farm succession conversations in many farm families happen, or I guess don't happen -- well, minus the stuffed animals. These folks are smart businesspeople who know their financial affairs and succession plans need to be planned diligently, but for many years they found excuses to delay deciding how their businesses will be passed on to the next generation.
It is a tough conversation to have, especially for those passing down a life's work. In an effort to aid farmers and ranchers in this area, University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) Extension wants the state's farmers and ranchers to complete a short survey regarding their farm/ranch succession plans, according to a UNL press release.
The survey seeks to learn more about how Nebraska farmers and ranchers are planning for succession or retirement and how retirement would be financed. The collected data will then be used to design educational material, websites and meetings specific to the state's producers.
The survey is being conducted by Allan Vyhnalek, UNL farm succession extension educator, Dave Aiken, agricultural law specialist and Kate Brooks, assistant professor in the department of agricultural economics.
Vyhnalek said he hopes to use the data to then provide succession planning support and education to Nebraska's farmers and ranchers.
"We hope that Nebraska farmers and ranchers understand the need to participate in the survey so we have current information," Vyhnalek said. "We want to be able to design material and educational outreach that fit the needs of Nebraskans."
The survey can be completed online at http://go.unl.edu/…. The survey will take between five to 10 minutes and participants must be 19 years or older to participate.
For more information or assistance, please contact Vyhnalek at (402) 472-1771 or email@example.com.
Russ Quinn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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