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6 key farm transition questions – Part 2 in a series

When you ask good questions, sometimes you understand the issues better.

We started this series with four key questions for you to think about in your farm transition planning. This is part two of our list of questions that can help you decide if the time is right for a farm business transition.

5. Is the exiting manager willing to transition management skills and management decisions to the entering manager? Do you like the idea of teaching the new folks "How we do it here"?

6. Have the parties involved in the transition had a positive, respectful and considerate attitude toward one another in the years before entering a transfer agreement?

7. Does the entering manager have the ability, desire and willingness to learn the farm management skills needed to manage a high-risk, low-margin, highly competitive business?

8. Can the involved parties communicate openly and freely with one another?

9. Are all parties involved willing to develop a written plan of transition and a business agreement prior to starting the transition process?

10. Are housing facilities available which will provide acceptable, yet independent lives for each family involved?

If you can answer "Yes" to nearly all of these questions, you should look for my next blog and a few more questions. If you answered "No" to any question, you may wish to evaluate the situation before you proceed.

In some cases, you will need the help of trusted advisors to answer these questions. It's another reminder of the value of fee-only, fiduciary financial planning advice during this process.

If this article has you thinking about your own circumstances, contact my office at

The opinions of the author are not necessarily those of Farm Futures or Penton Agriculture.

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