Generational Transition Program

Get Help with Your Ranch Transition Plan

The Nebraska Grazing Lands Coalition (NGLC) wants to assist farm and ranch families with the often daunting task of transitioning their family farm or ranch. NGLC has hired an individual who will work directly with families interested in taking estate and transition planning steps.

Through grant funds, Bethany Johnston was recently hired as the NGLC Ranch Transition Task Manager.

For families interested in working with Johnston, she will offer complimentary and confidential assistance. The process begins with a face-to-face meeting with Johnston where she will utilize their input to help the family create a roadmap and identify available transition and estate planning resources. She emphasizes, “The family will be in charge of the process and the direction. They are in the driver’s seat.”

Once the family’s roadmap has been developed, Johnston, who is certified as a farm succession planner, will then check-in with the family regularly to ensure that they are proactively completing tasks for effective transition and estate planning. Johnston anticipates this process will include helping direct families to several services and resources that already exist, such as Nebraska Rural Response legal and financial clinics, counseling, and family mediation.

Farm and ranch families interested in transition planning are invited to contact Johnston at 308-348-2015 or

Farms Dwindle. How Many Will be Left in One Generation?

published: Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Unprecedented consolidation is on its way.  According to an article in the Successful Farmer (May 2019), only “one out of every four or five commercial operators today” will be farming in the future.  “They (mega-operators) (will be) CEO farmers.”

But this generation has the ability to change this forecast?  How? 


Nebraska Rural Response Hotline

published: Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Here is an opportunity to obtain an independent, outside perspective on issues that may be affecting your farm or ranch.  Free legal and financial clinics are being offered for farmers and ranchers. The clinics are one-on-one meetings with an Ag Law Attorney and an Ag Financial counselor.

These are not group sessions, but individual sessions.  And confidential!  The attorney and financial advisor specialize in legal and financial issues related to farming and ranching, including financial and business planning, transition planning, farm loan programs, debtor/creditor law, debt structure and cash flow, agricultural disaster programs, and other relevant matters.  Read the full article for September locations and dates.

Buy-Sell Agreement: A Useful Transition Legal Tool

published: Tuesday, August 27, 2019

A buy-sell agreement can be a useful legal tool when planning your ranch transition.  This agreement addresses what happens when one or more of the owners dies, retires, becomes incapacitated or wants out of the business.  Benefits may extend beyond the business and into family relationships.

What is a buy-sell agreement?  Can a buy-sell agreement benefit your farm or ranch transition plan?

My Sweat, Your Equity

Is Compensation Needed?

published: Monday, August 19, 2019

When physical jobs become a burden, ranchers may look to add the next generation to the operation.  Their enthusiastic energy is welcomed and needed to keep the ranch up and running. 

However, are these young folks being compensated for “their sweat” when it is “your equity”?

Do you think the homeowners flipping houses would invest their time and labor for free into someone else’s home?  No, I think not.  Why do we expect our returning ranchers to invest their labor for free (or almost free) on the ranch? 

Family-First Business or Business-First Family, Which are You?

published: Monday, August 12, 2019

Jolene Brown, family business consultant, says there are two kinds of family farms.  The family-first business and the business-first family.  Below is a summary of Brown’s articles on the two types.

Family-First Business: Bases decisions on emotions or what family members want to.  Majority of the times, these decisions leads to problems, first within the family, then in the business.

Business-First Family: Decisions are grounded upon a mutual mission, written goals, legal documents, and quality communication.  Family is honored and the business has the family’s best interest at heart.

“Remember when we put the business first because we care about the family.  If we do the business well, we are more productive and more profitable and everyone more happy,” states Brown.

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Find a generational transition meeting near you and let us help you ensure a successful ranching future!

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