Succession Plans for Farmers (Whether Your Kids Want the Farm or Not)

Legacy planning for farmers comes with some interesting challenges and opportunities.

A farmer and his little girl sit on a hay bale overlooking a huge field.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Many farmers are facing a critical retirement decision. The traditions of yesterday are often changing, and their children may no longer want to follow in their parents’ footsteps. The challenges are many. However, there are options available.

In 1971, I began my farming career at the tender age of 9 in the Skagit Valley, 60 miles north of Seattle. Crop farming was my gig; rouging spinach, sorting tulips, picking strawberries, raspberries and cucumbers alongside the migrant workers from Mexico. When I was old enough, I was driving picking machines with a dozen kids lying on boards over a conveyor belt, or driving an open tractor pulling a green pea combine while traveling about 1 mile in four hours.

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Brian Evans, CPA, PFS
Owner, Madrona Financial Services

Brian Evans, CPA/PFS is the owner of Madrona Financial Services and Bauer Evans CPAs, a well-known registered investment advisory practice and an accounting firm based out of Seattle, Washington. He serves as their Chief Executive Officer, lead Wealth Planner and Senior Portfolio Manager. Evans also hosts a weekly radio show and podcast, Growing Your Wealth, in Washington on KTTH, KIRO, KNWN and KVI, and on KNRS in Utah.