Extension to help farm families with business planning

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Family farmers can get tips from Purdue University specialists on business communication and dealing with accounting and legal issues during a succession planning program offered at 10 sites in Indiana.

“Cultivating Strong Indiana Farm Family Relationships for Today and Tomorrow” will be offered beginning in January and continue into March. The program is presented by Purdue’s Women in Agriculture and Farm Succession Planning teams in partnership with the North Central Risk Management Education Center.

Kelly Heckaman, Purdue Extension educator in Kosciusko County, said Indiana farmers and farm wives have asked educators for advice on handling their family businesses.

“In order to get estate planning started in families, they need to be able to communicate about it. And it’s an emotional topic, so it can be hard to get those conversations started,” Heckaman said. “The workshops will give families ideas on improving their conversations and skills to help them work through their problems and keep their families intact.”

Purdue Extension presenters include Janet Ayers, agricultural economist; Angela Gloy, farm business planning specialist; county educators; and members of Purdue’s Farm Family Succession Planning Team.

Heckaman said the program is a collaboration between Extension and local communities, as organizers will invite local accountants and attorneys to speak on financial strategies.

The first-session agenda topics are: “A Great Year to Farm: New Farmer Financial Skills,” “The Team Approach: Working Together Through Transition” and “Communicating for Success.”

The second session’s lineup is “Business Structure and Taxes,” “The Truth about Pre- and Post-Nuptial Agreements” and “Strategies for Managing Conflict.”

Registration is $50 for individuals or $100 for families up to four members. Contact local program hosts or Purdue Extension county offices to register. Program questions can be directed to Heckaman at 574-372-2340.

Program dates, times and locations are:

  • Allen County: March 21 and 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Purdue Extension Allen County office, 4001 Crescent Ave., Fort Wayne. Contact: Gonzalee Martin, 260-481-6826.
  • Blackford and Jay counties: March 4 and 11, from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Montpelier Civic Center, 339 S. Main St., Montpelier. Contact: Stacy Clupper, 765-348-3213, or Larry Temple, 216-726-4707.
  • Greene County: Feb. 5 and 12, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Greene County Fairgrounds-Community Building, 4503 W. state Route 54, Bloomfield. Contact: Lindy Miller, 812-659-2122.
  • Boone, Hendricks and Montgomery counties: Jan. 31 and Feb. 7, 1-5 p.m., Hendricks County Fairgrounds-Conference Center, 1900 E. Main St., Danville. Contact: Jon Cain, 317-745-9266.
  • Howard, Cass and Carroll counties: Feb. 28 and March 7, noon to 4 p.m., Ivy Tech, 1 Ivy Tech Way, Logansport. Contact: Tamara Ogle, 574-753-7750, or Paul Marcellino and Andrea Brown, 765-564-3169.
  • Kosciusko County: Jan. 10 and Jan. 15, noon to 4:30 p.m., Warsaw Community Public Library, 310 E. Main St., Warsaw. Contact: Kelly Heckaman, 574-372-2340.
  • Southeast Indiana: Jan. 29 and Feb. 5, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Purdue Extension Jefferson County office, 315 Jefferson St., Madison. Contact: Lonnie Mason, 812-265-8919, or Jill Richards, 812-438-3656.
  • Southwest Indiana: Feb. 19 and Feb. 26, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., Vanderburgh County Fairgrounds - Activities Building, 201 E. Boonville New Harmony Road, Evansville. Contact: Jon Neufelder, 812-838-1331 or Nick Held, 812-926-1189.
  • Vigo County: Feb. 22 and March 1, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Ivy Tech, 1700 E. Industrial Drive, Terre Haute. Contact: Jim Luzar, 812-462-3371.
  • White County: Feb. 26 and March 5, from 8 a.m. to noon., Purdue Extension White County office, 12 N. 25 E., Reynolds. Contact: Denise Schroeder, 219-984-5115.


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