Sharp brothers

It is one of the most difficult conversations, but one of the most important ones for a farm family to have.

What does the future of the farm look like when the older generation is no longer a part of what happens day to day?

For years, my dad told my brothers and me that one day the farm would be ours and he would make sure that happened. His well-intentioned plans were not put in writing for some time, until he learned about Nationwide’s Land As Your Legacy transition plans. He attended sessions about the program at an Ohio Farm Bureau annual meeting and an American Farm Bureau convention and the notes he took helped him understand what he needed to do in order to make what he had in mind for the future of our farm actually happen.

My siblings and I didn’t like to think about our farm without Dad at the helm, but we had many of these uncomfortable conversations just before he was diagnosed with a terminal illness. In the blink of an eye, the arrangements that we had discussed as a result of those difficult talks with Dad needed to be put into action.

Although our succession plan helped us through that emotional time for our family, not putting Dad’s ideas together until the last minute did make things more stressful than if we had developed a strategy for the farm sooner.

We thank God for giving Dad the time to figure out what he wanted the future of the farm to look like. Many families don’t get that opportunity.

My advice to farm families when it comes to succession planning? Don’t wait too long. If you truly want your farm to be your legacy, make it clear to the next generation what needs to be done when changes happen.

You will be reading about succession planning from every angle in this issue. Using free services like Land As Your Legacy will begin the process of developing a transition plan focused on helping you protect the future for your business and your family. Take it from me: Starting the conversation is a challenge. So many times it isn’t miscommunication, but lack of communication that causes a family and the farm to fall apart when a path forward isn’t laid out for everyone involved.

Labor has always been an issue, mainly because we are a seasonal operation. So that's a challenge finding somebody who only wants to work three months out of a year, sometimes up to six months.
Mandy Way's avatar
Mandy Way

Way Farms

Farm Labor Resources
I appreciate the benefit of having a strong voice in my corner. The extras that are included in membership are wonderful, but I'm a member because of the positive impact to my local and state agricultural communities.
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Ernie Welch

Van Wert County Farm Bureau

Strong communities
I see the value and need to be engaged in the community I live in, to be a part of the decision-making process and to volunteer with organizations that help make our community better.
Matt Aultman's avatar
Matt Aultman

Darke County Farm Bureau

Leadership development
Farm Bureau involvement has taught me how to grow my professional and leadership experience outside of the workforce and how to do that in a community-centric way.
Jaclyn De Candio's avatar
Jaclyn De Candio

Clark County Farm Bureau

Young Ag Professionals program
With not growing up on a farm, I’d say I was a late bloomer to agriculture. I feel so fortunate that I found the agriculture industry. There are so many opportunities for growth.
Jenna Gregorich's avatar
Jenna Gregorich

Coshocton County Farm Bureau

Growing our Generation
Knowing that horticulture is under the agriculture umbrella and having Farm Bureau supporting horticulture like it does the rest of ag is very important.
Jared Hughes's avatar
Jared Hughes

Groovy Plants Ranch

Groovy Plants Ranch
If it wasn't for Farm Bureau, I personally, along with many others, would not have had the opportunity to meet with our representatives face to face in Washington.
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Austin Heil

Hardin County Farm Bureau

Washington, D.C. Leadership Experience
So many of the issues that OFBF and its members are advocating for are important to all Ohioans. I look at OFBF as an agricultural watchdog advocating for farmers and rural communities across Ohio.
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Mary Smallsreed

Trumbull County Farm Bureau

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