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Farm Succession Planning

Posted on November 15, 2018 by

A huge number of baby boomers have created or continued successful family owned farms. As they approach retirement the future of those farms hinges on their ability to successfully transition to a next generation. Less than 30 percent of family farms successfully transfer to a subsequent generation. A clear succession plan is the most important […]

The Wisconsin Homestead Exemption

Posted on September 25, 2018 by

Farmers may have wondered how a neighbor or someone else filing bankruptcy can keep his or her house. The answer is exemptions. Exemptions are assets that can be kept from unsecured creditors. The Wisconsin Legislature didn’t want debtors on the street with no assets so it created exemptions. The Wisconsin homestead exemption allows a debtor […]

Will Parents’ Long-Term Care Costs Sink the Farm?

Posted on July 11, 2018 by

Problems can result when parents maintain ownership of a farm but need long-term health-care services from an assisted-living facility or nursing home. Expenses associated with long-term care can jeopardize a farm business if not properly managed ahead of time. There’s a common situation attorneys encounter when helping farm families with farm legal matters. Although parents […]

Qualifying for Favorable Lending Terms in a Financially Stressed Market

Posted on July 3, 2018 by

Uncertainties in agricultural markets continue to impact lenders’ financing decisions as well as loan terms and conditions. But there are ways to qualify for favorable lending terms even in a time of financial stress and challenging markets. A prospective borrower should review farm-operation goals and how to achieve those goals as well as credit needs. […]

You’ve Been Sued . . . Now What??

Posted on May 18, 2018 by

A man walks into a farmer’s barn and hands him papers. The farmer discovers he has been served with a lawsuit. Reactions typically vary from panic to choosing to ignore what has been received. Both are poor choices. There are instead logical steps to take. Start saving all documents that have anything to do with […]

Who Gets the Farm if There are On-Farm and Off-Farm Heirs?

Posted on April 10, 2018 by

Family farmers face a difficult issue of passing on the farm if there are both on-farm and off-farm heirs. A family farm is a business but also about family. Doing what’s best for both farm and family requires making difficult decisions and sometimes rocking the boat. Most parents try to treat their children equally when […]

Do You Really Need To Care About OSHA?

Posted on March 29, 2018 by

There seems to be a fair amount of confusion among farmers as to what role the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) plays in regulating farming operations.  Among questions we get are “Do I as a farmer need to care about OSHA?” and “Does OSHA regulate farms the same as other businesses?” There is a […]

Hiring the Right Person for the Job Can be Challenging for Farmers Who Have Little Experience in Human Resources

Posted on February 15, 2018 by

Successful hiring is extremely important, especially in farming where a small group of people are doing complicated stressful work in an outdoor setting. Though not a comprehensive guide to hiring great employees, there are some key steps farmers can follow when hiring an employee. Define the Job – Hiring the right employee starts with understanding the […]

Using Prenuptial Agreements to Protect the Family Farm

Posted on January 8, 2018 by and

The family farm is a special asset. The family may have worked hard through decades, maybe even generations, to accumulate and develop the farm’s land, equipment and livestock. The children may be grown and successors to farming operations. The older generation may be worried what would happen to the farm if a child were to […]

Simple IRA Retirement-saving Solution

Posted on December 4, 2017 by

Workplace retirement programs play an important role in attracting and retaining employees, helping workers (and owners!) save, and provide significant tax advantages.  Employer contributions to “qualified” plans (like 401(k) plans) or IRA-based plans are deductible by the business when made, and taxes on the recipients (your employees or even you!) are not imposed until the […]