HARRISBURG, Pa. — To help dairy farm families begin tackling the process of succession planning and ownership transition, the Professional Dairy Managers of Pennsylvania (PDMP) and the Center for Dairy Excellence will be hosting a Fall Forum titled “Own Your Future” on Thursday, November 10 at 9:30 a.m. at Janelle Hall in Berks County. The discussion will provoke dairy producers to think forward about who will be owning the business in the future and how that can come to fruition. It will prompt partners and the younger generations to consider what they need to do to position themselves for where they wish to be in the business when there is a change. An afternoon tour at Vista Grande Farm in Fleetwood will also be part of the forum.
“A lot of us don’t think in advance about if and when we might want to retire or what value our share of the business is going to have when that time comes, but that can really put stress on the rest of the family who has to suddenly figure out if and how they can afford to buy out the exiting partner,” said Allen Behrer of Willow Behrer Farms in Huntington County and President of PDMP. “Regardless of your age, if you have a stake in a dairy farm, or you hope to, you need to be sorting this all out now for your future retirement or your entry into ownership. The Fall Forum should give every generation currently working on the farm, whether it’s my dad’s generation or mine, the insights they need now to take ownership of their personal future.”
With a panel of dairy producers and financial and retirement advisors, there will be candid conversations about lessons they have learned while navigating family business transitions, retirements, death, acquisitions, and the sometimes difficult task of simply starting the conversation with family members.
“Between my parents, my wife and I, we have established good trust and mutual goals of seeing the farm succeed,” shared Jared Kurtz of Kurtland Farms in Berks County about his family’s experience transitioning the farm from one generation to the next. “Even though we have similar goals and a good relationship, we brought someone else in to help make sure none of that was disrupted if someone had differing perspectives. We wanted to honor everyone’s personal goals and wishes through the process and make sure we weren’t missing anything. Having a third party involved really goes a long way in that.”
Focusing on strategies for “owning your future,” the forum will address common challenges dairy producers of all ages face, including:
- How to start business succession planning for all ages
- Tips for starting and managing the conversation without conflict
- What to do if the next generation doesn’t want to succeed you
- What you need between partners to manage family dynamics
- How to come up with a plan that works for everyone
Learn more about the event:
- When: Thursday, November 10 at 9:30 a.m. Lunch and tour of a dairy farm to follow.
360 Fleetwood Road
Mertztown, PA 19511
$35 – PDMP Member Farm, Business or Organization
$75 – PDMP Non-Member Farm, Business or Organization
- How to Register: Call 877-326-5993 or email email@example.com
–Emily Barge, Center for Dairy Excellence