In my agricultural law work, there are sad situations where parents built a farm or ranch, and their children are not interested in taking over. It is hard to imagine not wanting this life, as it lies so close to my heart.
My grandmother and my parents involved us in the family farm from an early age. We learned to irrigate about the time we learned to walk. I helped my grandmother with the farm books. I recall conversations about having to sell cows during a drought. My mom has copies of checks that my brother wrote to my grandmother in his kindergarten-print handwriting that say "land" in the memo line. There was always a feeling that our family farm was a part of us, and we a part of it.
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A couple of months ago, my husband and I purchased some new grassland. It was important to me to include the children in that process. We took the kids with us to inspect the property and talked about how we might be buying it.
When the day of closing came, we decided to take them along. We discussed what we would be doing and why we were meeting with the banker and the title company, and we lectured them a bit on appropriate behavior for the event.
Right before we left, both kids came to talk to us. My 4-year-old son told his dad that he had a plan for a barn and wanted to talk details about the best kind of roof. My 3-year-old daughter decided the kids should bring their piggy banks to the closing just in case we might need some of their money to make the deal happen.
Will this early interest seal the deal on future involvement? All I know for sure is we've planted the seed and are keeping the lines of communication open.
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