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.
A total of 1,300 mother cows, 80-85% Charolais and 15-20% Gelbvieh, make up the Wright family’s cowherd near Newcastle. They raise their own replacements, and have finished most of their cattle for 20 years. Four families, plus some hired help, live on the ranch, which totals around 100,000 deeded and leased acres.
“We ranch in an S corporation, two C corporations, an LLC, privately owned land, partner-owned cattle, privately owned cattle, and then we’re involved in a couple other LLCs with other family members. In our case, we don’t have a single pasture that you can buy from one entity. One problem out there is that we’re all members of the company, and we’re ranching together as the company, but we also want something that is just ours,” Wright says.
“We have to remember that ranching shouldn’t be a trap. It’s part of our plan to make it worth money for you to cooperate. I want my kids and grandkids to be able to say, ‘Gosh, there are some annoying things about my brother-in-law, but it’s worth real money to me to get along.’ Part of the reason we have a nice-sized outfit is because the family has been able to get along,” Wright says.