What is in this article?:
- Young Ranchers Share Their Estate Transfer Stories
- Shawn & Sandy Kontour
- Kit West
- Riki Kremers
During a recent Wyoming Stock Growers Association workshop on estate transfer, a panel of “next-generation” ranchers, all from Wyoming, delivered their perspectives on how their estate transfers proceeded.
Shawn & Sandy Kontour
Shawn Kontour is the fifth generation to ranch northwest of Wheatland on a cow-calf operation comprised of Angus and black baldie cows.
“As the younger generation, we need to respect the legacy that came before us,” Shawn says. “My grandfather had to deal with the transition from my great-great grandfather to his mom and his uncle, which didn’t go so well. So, he set our ranch up as an S corporation so we wouldn’t have to necessarily deal with that so much.
Sandy adds: “I’m the daughter-in-law, and you have to be teachable. One of the best things about my family is they welcomed me with open arms. I’ve sat at our weekly pancake breakfast planning sessions, and asked, ‘what if we did this or this?’ They take my advice and it just shows the respect they have for me, and I for them.
“One thing Shawn and I do is work to teach our three children how to get along. They’re three, five and seven, but we already tell them that if they want this operation to continue, they will have to be able to make decisions together. That learning process is as simple as making them figure out how to get rid of toys. I want them to know how to do that now,” Sandy says.