The Dell Family
Four generations of the Dell family, including six families and 21 family members, depend on a farm located in the hills of Carroll County, Md., outside of Westminster. Since being introduced to Farm Journal readers, the Dells are well on their way to unraveling the transition puzzle one step at a time. Several family members have met their retirement goals. The dairy is now owned and operated by a husband-and-wife team in the third generation. An employment policy is in place if the fourth generation wishes to join the farm.
With professional guidance, the family is working together to deal with the challenge of losing Tommy Dell, one of the main figures in the farm’s future. Central to this effort is concentrating on securing the farm’s finances so it is there for generations to come.
Follow the Dell Family
The farmer takes a wife. The wife takes a child… The nursery rhyme is tailor-made for the farmers in the Dell family. Four generations currently depend on the Westminster, Md., family farm.
The Dell family was lost. Although the road to farm succession was paved with good intentions, trips to accountants and attorneys had always ended in more confusion than direction.
Greg Dell jokingly calls himself a late bloomer. At an age when most farmers might be contemplating retirement, the Westminster, Md., farmer and his wife, Della, find themselves in the primary ownership position for the family farm.
When Donna Dell Armacost saw the Dell family tree in Farm Journal, she thought she’d been pruned away: Her branch on the tree was missing. The Dell's had to ask, what's fair for off-farm heirs in the succession picture?
At 16, Gregory Dell already plays a big role on the farm. However, his family wants to be sure he gets some experience off the farm before making a final career choice.
As often happens in rural communities, neighbors and friends rallied to help the Dells in a difficult time. A simple thank-you didn’t seem enough.
Spring planting is well under way on the Dell family farm. While the family is moving forward with day-to-day farm operations, it is only now beginning to revisit its succession plan.
You're as young as you feel—but don't forget care insurance. Greg and Della Dell are part of the sandwich generation—the midlife adults wedged between aging parents and adult children and grandchildren.