Opportunity You Can't Pass Up

Purdue workshop explores generational leadership of farms.

Published on: Jan 11, 2011

Do you have a son or daughter coming into the farm after graduation from college this spring, or maybe even after graduation from high school? Or maybe you have a son or daughter, or maybe more than one, already in the family business, joining within the last few years. Is everything going smoothly? Do tensions ever arise?

If they don't, you probably won't benefit from Purdue University's upcoming workshop. Instead, the instructors might want you to teach it! For everyone else who has awkward family moments trying to run a family farm together, the Farming Together Workshop is Jan. 28 and 29, to be held in Stewart Center on the Purdue campus. This year's edition is subtitled: 'Developing the Next Generation of Management.'

This workshop, successful now for many years, is designed for entire families to attend, or at least all those involved in management and operation of the farm. Those who have advised attendees in the past say sometimes it's the first time a dad and a son, or a dad and a daughter-in-law, actually address thorny issues face to face. Sometimes they're easier to put off then stop and discuss at home.

The late Joe Huber, Starlight, a former Master Farmer, said he always made it clear to a new in-law coming into the family that he knew without a doubt some of his habits would become irritating to them. Instead of letting it fester, he wanted them to come to him so they could have an open discussion and resolve the issue up front, before it became entwined in other issues that made it hard to get to the root cause of some future disagreement. He operated a vegetable operation, a family restaurant, and a daylily business, plus farmed in his career, with help from several sons, daughters and in-laws.

The important thing to do now is register for the program. Set aside the weekend of Jan. 28 and 29 for this family-strengthening event. Registration is $120 per farm before Jan. 14, coming soon, and $150 per farm, still a bargain, after that date. Lodging is on your own. A block of rooms are reserved in the Purdue Memorial Union, connected to Stewart Center, is you choose to stay there.

For information, visit this Web site: www.agecon.purdue.edu/extension/programs/farm_together.asp.  

Or you can call Alan Miller, one of the Ag Econ Extension professors working with the conference, at 765-494-4203. If you prefer, email him at: millerwa@purdue.edu.