Succession Planning: Will Your Farm Sink or Swim?

June 30, 2015 09:24 AM
Succession Planning: Will Your Farm Sink or Swim?

Succession Planning Workshop for Farmers on July 22 in Paducah

Here’s a staggering fact: Families fail to keep their fam­i­lies and fortunes together for three or more generations 90% of the time.

While these seem like unbeatable odds, with good planning and preparation, farmers can become part of the coveted 10% who stick together, says Alan Richardson, a family business consultant with Transition Point Business Advisors in West Des Moines, Iowa. 

"The 10% who continue past three generations focus on both family and business aspects," Richardson says. On the business front, the successful ones prepare the next generation to effectively run the company. Additionally, the families prepare their heirs for the inheritance they will receive.

Farmers need to understand the difference between succession planning and estate planning, Richardson explains. “A succession plan is what you want to have happen for both the ownership and management of your operation,” he says. “An estate plan is what you put in place for when you die and explains what you want to have happen to your stuff.”

Once this work is done, everything must be in writing, Richardson says. “If you don’t have a written plan, you don’t have a plan,” he says.

Richardson will be leading a Farm Journal Legacy Project Workshop on July 22 at the Walker Hall Events Center in Paducah, Ky. He will explain how to construct a succession plan, have critical conversations with stakeholders and assemble a helpful team of advisors.

CPA John Gorman, with CliftonLarsonAllen, will explain the advantages and disadvantages of various entity structures and how to transfer assets and ownership. Attorney Elizabeth Wieneke, with Whitlow Roberts Houston & Straub, headquartered in Paducah, will cover the legal aspects of succession planning.


Event Details:

Farm Journal Legacy Project Workshop
Wednesday, July 22

Walker Hall Events Center
229 Madison Street
Paducah, KY 42001

Speakers will include:

·         Alan Richardson, Transition Point Business Advisors

·         John Gorman, Clifton Larson Allen, Farm Journal Legacy Institute Advisory Team

·         Elizabeth Wieneke, Whitlow Roberts Houston & Straub, PLLC


Learn more and register at or by calling 877-482-7203.




About Farm Journal Media

Farm Journal Media is the nation’s prominent agricultural media company. Its magazines are the 138-year-old flagship Farm Journal, Top Producer, Beef Today, Dairy Today and Implement & Tractor. The company’s broadcast division produces and distributes two national television programs, “AgDay” and “U.S. Farm Report”, and three daily radio programs, “AgriTalk”, “American Countryside” and “Market Rally.” In 2014, the company introduced My Farm Radio, 24/7 digital mobile radio channel. The company produces the industry-leading web portal and dominates mobile communication through “Farm Journal Mobile,” including Commodity Update. Farm Journal provides a national peer-to-peer advisory program for executive farmers and ranchers called Top Producer Executive Network™ and publishes ProFarmer and LandOwner newsletters. In 2013, the company launched Machinery Pete, LLC and hosts more than 70 live events each year. Farm Journal compiles and licenses detailed producer/industry data through its FarmReach database and in 2011, the company established The Farm Journal Foundation along with its “Farmers Feeding the World” initiative dedicated to sustaining agriculture’s ability to meet the vital needs of a growing population through education and empowerment.


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