Farm Security Plan

If you run any business, you have to plan for the future. But if you run a farm - especially a family farm - planning for the future is a must. Your family's well-being, financial security and, honestly, sanity could be on the line if you don't look ahead. Now is the perfect time to plan the year ahead and beyond.

You can't predict the future. While we take every precaution for safety and security, it is not guaranteed. Mother Nature may have other plans. An illness can strike a family member at any time. You never know what is around the corner. Having a plan, in writing, helps alleviate stress should something unexpected arise. This will ease your mind and the other members of the farm family business.

If you do not already have the following items in order, consider starting on them immediately. It is vital to the farm business that the following be done and in writing.

Update your will or trust. Communicate the information in the will or trust to your family members now.

Create a list of any farm contacts with names and contact information - from accountants to plumbers to insurance agent to suppliers - anyone important to the farm business should be included.

Have deed information recorded, and if you ever change ownership, complete a new deed.

Any goals or future plans, such as expansion or hiring, should be discussed at the beginning of the year. These goals should include timetables and steps to accomplishing them.

Schedule regular meetings with the important employees on the farm and keep them in the loop - at least quarterly. This should happen each year, not just this year, as plans and goals are constantly changing and the farm is adapting.

Discussing the future is not always easy and can certainly get emotional, especially as family is involved. But now is the time to get your plan in order so that you aren't scrambling in the case of an emergency or an unexpected situation. If you can put the time and energy now into a secure plan for your future and the future of your farm, you will have peace of mind for years to come.

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