January 5, 2007

Workshop prepares farmers and farm families to work together

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University will hold its 27th annual Farming Together Workshop Jan. 26-27 on the West Lafayette campus.

The workshop is aimed at teaching farm operators, family members and future partners how to develop strategies for a successful future farming operation.

"Throughout the seminar, we will deal with several issues and concerns associated with farming together, as well as the mechanics of how to transition new operators into the farm business," said Alan Miller, Purdue farm business management specialist. "This offers the opportunity for people to brainstorm, hear how others have accomplished the same types of things, and it's a time to lay the foundation for business relationships."

Throughout the two-day conference, participants will hear from Purdue Extension experts and spend some one-on-one time asking questions of them.

Participants will also have the opportunity to spend some time away from the farm with future business partners to start thinking about the future.

"This workshop is unique in that participants don't just listen to speakers for a day and a half," Miller said. "In addition to presentations, they will have a significant amount of time to sit down and plan for the future with their business partners."

The presentations are aimed at answering questions about farming together, as well as providing ideas to producers about successful ways to do so. Some of the topics are:

  • "Effective Communication in the Family Business," by Janet Ayers, leadership specialist.

  • "Developing a Shared Vision for the Future," by Craig Dobbins, farm business management specialist.

  • "Developing a Management Succession Plan," by Miller.

  • "Farming Together – Working with Family and Staying Friends," by Robert Taylor, farm business management specialist.

  • "Different Ways to Share Ownership and Management," by Miller.

  • "Organizational Structure and Job Descriptions," by Dobbins.

  • "Legal Question and Answer Session," by Gerald Harrison, legal affairs specialist and attorney.

Included in the presentations are unique elements, Miller said. Ayers will use a Myers-Briggs test to identify personality differences and demonstrate their impact on communication. Taylor will summarize his approximately 40 years of experience with teaching farm business organization and advising farm families on how to organize their farm businesses. Harrison will talk about some of the legal aspects of combining operations or adding partners.

"After participants register, we will ask them to submit questions for (Harrison) to answer," Miller said. "He specializes in estate planning and will answer questions about how to transfer farm business property and choose a new business entity."

Registration for the Farming Together Workshop is $80 per farm before Jan. 12. After Jan. 12, registration fees are $110. Registration forms may be found on the Web at http://www.agecon.purdue.edu/extension/programs/farm_together.asp.

For more information, or to request a registration form in a different format, contact Miller at (765) 494-4203 or millerwa@purdue.edu. Dobbins may also be reached by calling (765) 494-9041 or by e-mailing cdobbins@purdue.edu.


Writer: Jennifer Stewart, (765) 494-6682, jsstewar@purdue.edu


Source: Alan Miller, (765) 494-4203, millerwa@purdue.edu


Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722; Beth Forbes, forbes@purdue.edu

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