Business, succession, retirement and estate planning for farm women

Farm women have a vested interest in transferring the farm business to the next generation. Annie’s Project offers a four-night series in St. Johns, Mich., especially for farm women who want to make the transition smooth for future generations.

Farming is a family business where farmers often pass the business from one generation to the next. As the farm wife, daughter-in-law or sister in the operation, your involvement with the day-to-day activities may vary from “not involved” to working alongside your husband. However, when it comes to retirement, succession and estate planning, you have a vested interest.

Annie’s Project is piloting a program entitled Managing for Today and Tomorrow. It is designed specifically for farm women and addresses business, succession, retirement and estate planning. This program, like all Annie’s Project programs, meets Annie’s mission to empower farm women to be better business partners through networks and by managing and organizing critical information.

Using Annie’s core values, the sessions will provide a safe harbor where all questions or situations are welcomed for sharing and open discussion. It will provide opportunities for connections to be formed with professionals and class participants. In addition to formal presentations, classes provide hands-on experiences and an opportunity to discuss with professionals and other farm women. This structure encourages discovery – the moment when something makes sense where before it did not. The sessions are designed to not only allow you to learn from professionals, but also from farm women who have first-hand experience in this area.

Four topics will be covered during the series, each complementing the other so that participants will leave with a full understanding of how to manage for today and shape tomorrow. We will discuss estate, succession, retirement and business planning. Participants will not only learn the meaning of each subject; they will have a chance to apply the concepts and tools to their farm operation. Having a working understanding of how each of these topics applies to your individual situation will enable you to actively participate in planning the future of your farm business.

Michigan State University Extension will host this Annie’s II program. Core instructors are Roger Betz, Farm Management Educator and Marilyn Thelen, local educator. Guest instructors will be utilized throughout the series.

Managing for Today and Tomorrow will be held at The Emerald, 2300 W. Maple Rapids Rd., St. Johns, Mich. The series begins January 24, 5:30 - 9:00 p.m. and will be held each Tuesday evening through February 14. The registration fee is $100 per person. This covers registration for the four-night series and includes supplies, handouts and dinner. Deadline for registration is January 18, 2012 and class size is limited. Download the registration form and mail it in. For more information, call 989-224-5241 or by email Marilyn Thelen. Please put Annie’s II in the subject line.

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