Hope isn’t an Estate Plan

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Estate or transition planning needs to be a part of every agriculture producer’s farm or ranch management plan, said Blaine Carey, an instructor with the South Dakota Center for Farm and Ranch Management at Mitchell Technical Institute during the recent South Dakota Farmers Union Young Producer’s Event held in Deadwood.

“Hope is not an estate plan,” says Carey, who works with producers of all ages and stages, to help them streamline their recordkeeping and provide practical management strategies to help them improve their bottom line.

He explained that all producers, regardless of age, need  A PLAN. Now, what exactly that plan is, or how it is structured, that depends upon the individual farm or ranch. “No one plan fits everyone,” Carey says.

However, starting a conversation with the individuals involved in the operation is a good place to begin. From there, fortunately there are several resources available to agriculture producers.

There’s the South Dakota Department of Agriculture Farm Link program which creates a directory of beginning farmers and ranchers, as well as a directory of current or retiring farmers and ranchers, for the purpose of facilitating a skills mentoring and land transition relationship. To learn more, visit this link.

And, then SDSU Extension hosts workshops on the topic and has several estate planning resources on their website.

“When it comes to managing a farm or ranches’ bottom line, producers need to be prepared for the unexpected so they don’t have to scramble when the unexpected happens,” Carey says.

To learn more about the Farm and Ranch Management course offered by South Dakota Center for Farm & Ranch Management at Mitchell Technical Institute, visit their website.


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