I’m going to admit that it has been quite some time since my last blog. It is not because there hasn’t been anything going on, but rather there has been a lot going on with county Farm Bureaus. Winter really seems to be the time to squeeze in those meetings, get pumped up for membership work, plan YFA events and more, all before old man winter leaves Wisconsin. He has really overstayed his welcome this year and I will be elated when the temperature warms up and the massive piles of snow are gone, but until then, we just have to smile and deal with the cards we are dealt.
Over the past month, I have been working with the Rusk and Sawyer County Farm Bureaus to organize a farm succession workshop for members in their counties. During the WFBF Annual Meeting, they listened to Jared Nelson from Farm Bureau Financial Services and attorney Rick Bollenbeck discuss the importance of farm succession planning and tips on how to make it happen. Those in attendance knew that members in the Northwoods (and all across Wisconsin) needed this information to get them prepared for the future before it is too late.
While I was preparing to write this, I found a quote from a guy named John Allston that fit perfectly with this topic, “The only thing you take with you when you’re gone is what you leave behind.” So, when the time comes and you are gone (I know, who really wants to talk about that…but you must!), what will you leave behind? Will you leave behind a legacy and a commitment to keep your family and your farm in the hands you intended it to be? Or, will you decide to sit back, think you are set and let your family deal with it when you are gone? During the workshop that was presented, there were many, many stories of the later, sitting back, thinking you were set or not doing anything to prepare for the future and it can have devastating consequences for a farm family.
How can you make sure you are ready? Contact your local Rural Mutual Insurance agent and they can get you all of the information and contacts that you will need to get started. If you want to learn more, check with your local Extension office, they may be offering farm succession planning events. Several other county Farm Bureaus around the state will also be offering the same workshops within the next couple of months. Take advantage of the opportunity to learn about what you can do. Now is the time, give yourself some peace of mind and remember, “The only thing you take with you when you’re gone is what you leave behind.”