What is in this article?:
Farm transfer from one generation to the next is a lengthy and sensitive endeavor in the best of circumstances. Too often, tales of losing the operation, or permanent family rifts, are the result. Ranching families share their lessons learned in transferring operations within the family.
The Shepperson family came to the Midwest, WY, locale via the Chisolm Trail in the mid 1800s, and have ranched there since. They run a cow-calf operation, and have sold to the same buyer, either private treaty or on the video, for over 20 years. All family members have part ownership, brand their own heifer calves, and receive a percentage of the steer calves in the fall.
“I believe in trust, communication and guidance early in life. It takes a team to keep a sustainable operation going, and that can be your family and/or employees. That team needs to celebrate its successes, and young people need to be encouraged to follow the fire in their heart,” Shepperson says.
“In lots of these families, kids go to college. Before they go off to college, let them know the wonderful things that happen in ranching. Let them see the ecology and the things that go on at the ranch, and let them learn to enjoy those things.
“Then, after they go off to college, we make our kids get a job before they come back; to make sure they have that fire for ranching,” he says.