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Contingency planning for your family and farm business

Contingency planning for your family and farm business

Develop a contingency plan for your farm now.

What we're calling 'The Code Red Document' was developed as a result of a brainstorming session at the 2011 Midwest Women in Ag Conference. The Purdue Women in Agriculture Team found a need for farm families and small business to have one central location to collect critical business information required for day- to- day operations. In the event of a crisis, the business would be able to continue with minimal disruptions.

Related: How are farmers like basketball players?

The crisis may be only for a short time or it may be long-term. The need for timely information about the people in the operation and their contacts are very important.

Where is the key? Could your wife or someone else start the tractor or know if the tile plow is paid for if you were no longer around? The Code Red program makes sure those things happen.

A team of Extension educators led by Kelly Heckaman, Kosciusko County, and Bryan Overstreet, Jasper County, developed The Code Red Document. It's in an Excel spreadsheet with two main sections, Personal and Farm Business and 16 sub-categories.

Subsections in the Personal section include:
• Personal Information
• Personal Social Media
• Personal Business Contact List
• Power of Attorney
• Important Personal Documents
• Non-Farm Personal Inventory
• Personal Investments
• Personal Medical Information
• Final Arrangements.

Subsections in Farm Business include:
• Farm Business Structure
• Farm Finances
• Important Farm Documents
• Farm Business Contacts
• Farm Social Media
• Farm Inventory
•Farm Employment Inventory

The Code Red document is to be used to keep information such as where your will and other legal papers are located, business contact information, even details of your daily operation such as lease information, inventory, and where keys are located.

"I think it's something everyone should be using," Bill Fordice says. He and his wife, Kassie, use Code Red. "When you lose key people it'll be a good resource to their information."

You can order a Code Red Flash Drive and Lanyard with the Excel file loaded on it for $6 on the Purdue ag website.

Make Code Red your "go to" book. We hope this resource will help farm families turn a code red situation into 'code green' and the business can continue to operate.

Overstreet writes from Jasper County

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