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AGRIBUSINESS

Illinois Farm Bureau, COUNTRY Financial to host series of farm legacy seminars

With estimates as high as half of American farmers operating without an estate plan, Illinois Farm Bureau (IFB) and COUNTRY Financial are set to provide valuable Farm Legacy Seminars to aid them as plans are made for the next generation.

January 2, 2020

BLOOMINGTON, Illinois — Seventy percent of U.S. farmland will likely change hands during the next two decades. With estimates as high as half of American farmers operating without an estate plan, Illinois Farm Bureau (IFB) and COUNTRY Financial are set to provide valuable Farm Legacy Seminars to aid them as plans are made for the next generation.

The two organizations will host three farm legacy information meetings in February of 2020. The seminars will provide current and prospective IFB members and COUNTRY Financial clients with tools, protection and ongoing support essential to legacy planning, in order to allow them to keep their farm in the family amid today’s financial challenges.

“Illinois farm families face a series of issues, including rising costs in agriculture and surviving financial stress year to year, that may pull their focus away from planning for the future of the farm,” said IFB President Richard Guebert Jr. “This meeting series will realign that focus in sharing the resources and knowledge they need to have those conversations and preserve their farm legacy.”

Each meeting will include a keynote presentation by Dr. Ron Hanson, Harlan agribusiness professor emeritus at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and professional speaker on farm legacy planning.

“It is never too early for farm family members to begin a legacy planning process for their farm,” said Dr. Hanson. “Most often, farm families make the mistake of waiting until it is too late or after something unexpected happens. That is never the best time to make good objective decisions. It’s important to develop and implement a business succession plan now to continue a family farming legacy for future generations.”

Hanson has been a recipient of 31 university and national awards throughout his 46-year agribusiness teaching and advising career. Following Dr. Hanson’s talk, farm legacy planning support will be explained and offered by COUNTRY Financial Specialists and Planning Support Manager, Joe Buhrmann.

“Legal documents and adequate protection are a solid start to the conversation,” stated Buhrmann.  “Equally important, though is having the entire family take part in the conversation. Having a plan will ensure that what you want to have happen will happen. At COUNTRY, our team of planning professionals have been helping farming families keep the farm in the family for over 50 years. What you’ve built with your hands, your head, and your heart is too important to leave to chance.  We’re excited to partner with professionals like Dr. Hanson and the Illinois Farm Bureau to help farm families collectively begin this important conversation and process.”

Meetings are set to take place in northern, central and southern Illinois. The 2-hour seminars will each begin at 5 p.m. with dinner. Dates and locations are as follows:

  • Feb. 25 — Hickory Grove Banquet and Conference Center, Rochelle
  • Feb. 26 — I-Hotel and Conference Center, Champaign
  • Feb. 27 — Kokopelli Golf Club, Marion

*Dr. Hanson will be available before or after the event for media availability. Please contact acasali@ilfb.org or chris.coplan@countryfinancial.com if interested in scheduling an interview.

Registration for the events is now open to current and prospective IFB members and COUNTRY Financial clients. To register, visit www.ilfb.org/farmplanning

MEDIA CONTACT
Chris Coplan
Chris.Coplan@countryfinancial.com
(309) 821-5357

Andrea Casali
acasali@ilfb.org
(309) 557-2083

About Illinois Farm Bureau
The Illinois Farm Bureau is a member of the American Farm Bureau Federation, a national organization of farmers and ranchers. Founded in 1916, IFB is a non-profit, membership organization directed by farmers who join through their county Farm Bureau. IFB has a total membership of more than 386,7291 and a voting membership of 79,159. IFB represents three out of four Illinois farmers.

About COUNTRY Financial

COUNTRY Financial is a marketing name for COUNTRY Life Insurance Company®, COUNTRY Mutual Insurance Company® and their respective subsidiaries, located in Bloomington, IL. COUNTRY Financial serves about one million households and businesses throughout the United States and offers a wide range of insurance and financial products and services.