Nearly a decade later, family farm transition plan still a work in progress
A South-Central Nebraska farmer says transitioning his family farm is a long and detailed process that will take more than a decade to complete.
Lance Atwater has a diversified operation with his parents near Ayre in Adams County. “It’s not going to be something that they’re going to hand it to me and so it’s figuring out a plan of how to make it, so it works for me but also make sure they’re able to take care of themselves as they enter into retiring or taking a less active role on the farm.”
He tells Brownfield his family started attending transition seminars in 2012 soon after he graduated college and the process started with a “tough discussion on things and being realistic on what’s achievable and what’s not achievable.”
Atwater says their plan has a timeline but it’s also flexible in case changes need to be made. “We put something together and I know my parents are still working on how they want to transition things over the next couple of years and I hopefully we’ll have that solid plan, and we’ll actually begin that process.”
Atwater says proposed changes to tax policy like stepped-up basis and the inheritance tax pose other challenges, too.
Brownfield interviewed Atwater at the Young, Beginning and Small Farmers Symposium hosted by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.