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Zack and Annie Metzger were searching for farmland. Annie missed her family and the scenery of the Northeast, so they headed back to New York to find something more permanent.

Become a Farmer By Helping a Retiring Farmer

It was the perfect opportunity. Zack worked for the Bulsons as a full-time farm manager while Annie, pregnant with their daughter Willa, worked an off-farm job to supplement their income and provide the growing family with health insurance. After one year, Zack and Annie decided it was a good fit and approached the Bulsons about leasing the farm.

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While Zack and Annie would have happily leased the farm for years, the Bulsons eventually decided they needed to sell their farm in order to be able to fully retire. As is the case for many senior farmers, much of their retirement funds were tied up in the real estate value of their farmland.

The Bulsons wanted to sell the farm right to Zack and Annie.

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Semi-retirement is withdrawal of some labor and management. If you never retire, will there be room for the next generation? Attributes of a successful business include efficient, profitable, goal-directed, aggressive, effective, innovative and proficient. You don't see the emotional attributes listed under business traits.

Matching retiring farmers with next the next generation

Separating emotion form the farming business is difficult but necessary if you're going to continue the business generationally, Baker says. The failure of the owner to retire is succession plan failure for those on the receiving end. From a business aspect Baker reminds planners a family farm is a long-term, fixed, appreciable asset. I like to say if inheriting farm land creates a farmer, then inheriting law books creates a lawyer.

There is no set retirement age for a farmer. But an old farmer can’t go on for ever

Know the difference between succession and estate plans, he concludes. Baker advises that if the owner's priority is to continue the farm family business then a succession plan is needed. Assets, money, management, gifts, salaries and shares all need to be moved to the business successor. If the owner's priority is to continue the family ownership of the farm land, then an estate plan is need. This is a conversation about how to do it in a way that takes the fear out of the process. Presented in comfortable general terms this book leads the reader from dreaming about retiring to the country to finding and developing the dream property.

It briefly discusses both necessary and desirable facilities needed to complete the dream. In many ways it is a reflection of the author's own search for the perfect small retirement farm across parts of Central Texas.

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It is a guide to gaining the knowledge you will need to enjoy the total experience. It touches on estimating and project construction without trying to be an encyclopedia of construction cost and detail. Read more Read less.

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About the Author Fred Rollins Is a metallurgical engineer. No customer reviews. Share your thoughts with other customers.