Talking about transitioning the farm business can be tricky, especially when there’s a bit of an age gap. The Goods know all too well what that’s like, as Merle, owner of GRS Consulting, has been in the process of transitioning his own farm to his daughter Annessa. They’re also working on Annessa stepping up to take over his consulting company, too.
As far as struggles go from the older generation, Merle says it has to do with exploding land values.
“(Whether it be) operational-wise how you pay for it, but also the estate planning,” he says. “Determining what’s fair in distribution of your personal wealth. That’s a huge issue I’m seeing, and we need to get more creative on this.”
He points out ranchers and farmers need to have a plan to transfer land while their alive, not just in a will, and also to address the three big D’s — divorce, disposition, or amassing debt (when transferring land). According to Merle, people need to understand estate planning and succession planning are two very different things.
Annessa adds that it’s so important for the in-coming generation sees a clear path to ownership vs. working on a promise, and to fully understand income and equity are very different things.
Listen to the full interview between RealAgriculture’s Jessika Guse and Merle and Annessa Good of GRS Consulting below.
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