Lancaster farming. (Lancaster, Pa., etc.) 1955-current, December 17, 1994, Image 81

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    CHICAGO, 111. American
family farmers stand at the most
critical time in history and must
begin planning for the future or
face extinction, warns John Deere
Life Insurance Co.
“The number of family farms in
this country has fallen below two
million for the first time since the
Civil War, and with the new
Republican Congress taking .a
close look at farm subsidies, farm
ers must put their financial houses
in order or we’ll be talking about
farmers in the past tense,” said
Larry Nelson, JDL’s vice presi
dent of marketing.
Nelson said family farmers are
masters at “rolling with the punch
es” but said they can take nothing
for granted.
“A generation ago, passing on
the family farm often meant noth
ing more than drafting a simple
will,” he said. “Farm profit mar
gins were higher, land values were
lower, tax rates were comparative
ly insignificant, and family succes
sion was more predictable. The
high-tax, low profit, always
volatile environment of today cre
ates unique problems which threat
en the survival of the family farm.”
Nelson said several major rea-
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Will American Family Farm Disappear?
sons why the number of family
farms is dropping have to do with
communications within the family.
“Many farmers still find it diffi
cult to discuss passing on the farm
to the next generation,” he said.
“Recent studies have shown that
about two-thirds of all farmers do
not have a valid succession plan in
place. When a farmer dies, the fed
eral estate tax bill often runs into
the hundreds of thousands of dol
lars. without a succession plan,
heirs can be forced to sell off land
or equipment just to pay the tax
bill. Even with enough cash, the
farm also may still face a break-up
by heirs not living on the property
who want their share in cash. How
a farmer deals with these and other
issues, depends on knowing what
you want, talking it out openly
with your family, and finding the
specialists that can make your
wishes happen.”
Nelson adds that many children
of farmers decide to go into other
occupations because the family
does not talk about the future ,oj
because the farmer thinks he can’t
pass on the farm without saddling
the successor with a lot of debt.
“That’s one of the saooesi
myths,” said Nelson. “A properly
funded succession plan can make
it possible to pass a farm to the
next generation with very little
debt. There should never be a situ
ation in which a family loses the
farm because of poor planning.”
. He said the new Republican
Congress will be passing a new
Department Nets Grant
NEWARK, Del. A decade
long collaboration between the
University of Delaware and the
University of Agriculture in Nitra,
Slovakia, has led to a USIA grant
that will assist Slovakia in its tran
sition from a centralized economy
to a market-driven one.
Dr. Joachim Elterich, professor
in the department of food and
resource economics and director
of university operations research
program, received a two-year,
$300,000 U.S. Information Agen
cy grant to bring Western business
management education and exten
sion to the University of Agricul
ture in Nitra.
The grant proposal, developed
Penn State Soil Judging
Team Places Second
Co.) The Penn State Student
Soil Judging Team recently placed
a close second behind Cornell
University in the 1994 Northeast
Collegiate Soil Judging Contest,
hosted by the University of Rhode
Island. The team now qualifies for
| the National Collegiate Soil Judg
ing Contest to be held in Missouri.
Members of the winning team
,are Michael Brown, Alex Dado,
Invest In Work that Witt Last A Lifetime
farm bill next year, and likely cuts
in farms subsidies will mean more
fluctuation in crop prices which will
affect incomes and land values.
“This makes planning now all the
more crucial,” Nelson said. “How
ever, if a family selects its advisors
carefully and allows enough time to
At U. Of Nitra
with Dr. Catherine Halbrendt and
Richard Bacon, also from the
department, and graduate students
Darina Batkova, Fe Zinnia Albay
and Julia Farkasova, includes
courses in business management,
international trade and marketing,
contracting, community develop
ment, macroeconomic impacts
and communications. Eight educa
tors from the University of
Delaware College of Agricultural
Sciences, Delaware State Univer
sity and the private sector will
teach intensive courses in eight,
three-week modules in the spring
of 1995.
This January, a group of Slova-
Amy Loch and Tracy Szathmary.
Tracy Szathmary and Alex Dado
placed ninth and 10th as individu
The regional and national com
petitions, which are hosted by dif
ferent universities each year, pro
vide students with a unique oppor
tunity to see soils from different
areas of the country, classify them
and make interpretations for dif
ferent land uses.
iculture - Residential - Commercial
65’ Diameter SCS Approved Circular Manure Storage .
601 Overly Grove Road, New Holland, PA 17557
Lancaster Farming, Saturday, December 17, 1994-C5
get it done right, a succession plan
can meet everyone’s needs in a fair
manner and keep the farm intact and
in the family.”
For a free copy of a farm suc
cession brochure, write to the John
Deere Centre, 300 E. State Street,
Jacksonville, IL 62650-2030.
kian educators will visit the Uni
versity of Delaware to be exposed
to Western-style curriculum, cul
ture and agricultural industry.
They will also attend the Allied
Social Sciences Conference in
Washington, D.C.
As director of the project,
Elterich will work in Slovakia
throughout the term of the grant
creating an extension-style agri
cultural management center.
Through the University of Nitra,
the center will provide practical
knowledge and problem-solving
services for medium and small
scale businesses, as well as out
reach to other parts of the country.
Students prepare for the contest
by taking Soils 100, a one-credit,
field-oriented class taught by
graduate students Christine Manns
and Keith Coyne, who also coach
the soil judging team. Students
learn to describe and classify soils
in the field and to recognize prop
erties that affect uses, such as
waste disposal and water move
. For All
Your Concrete
Walls And