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JenREES 11/21/22

I’m so grateful that harvest is mostly complete at this point! When so much of the crop was replanted in late June/early July, I wasn’t anticipating harvest to get rolling till mid-November for the replant crop. The early frost ended up being beneficial in that way. With Thanksgiving approaching this week, I realized how much I needed to take time and reflect on the year; perhaps you do too? I realize many want to forget it, but it can be healing to think through what one experienced and look for the positives amid the challenges. We ran from what seemed to be one issue to another which led to an extra exhausting year with minimal time to process. I’m not ready to share thoughts yet, but it has been helpful for me to reflect. Hoping you can take time this Thanksgiving to reflect on the blessings amidst the hard things. There truly are so many! Wishing you and your family a blessed Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving resources: For Thanksgiving turkey prep, fun recipes, and family activities, check out: https://food.unl.edu/article/thanksgiving-central. En español: https://go.unl.edu/z7di. My colleague Brandy VanDeWalle also shares some gratitude research in this post: https://vandewalleviews.com/2022/11/04/gratitude-improves-health-well-being/.

Returning to the Farm Workshop Dec. 9-10 at Holthus Convention Center in York: Only 50% of farm families have an estate plan in place. Billions of dollars will be transferred in the next 10 years in agriculture. Does your family have a plan in place to ensure that assets are transferred the way you desire? Being in Extension, I’ve heard and watched stories of heartbreak when one generation passed and the next wasn’t able to farm or ranch on ground the way either generation hoped. It’s happened in my family and perhaps some of you have experienced this too? So much of this comes down to communication. Most of us don’t communicate well and sometimes we need tools to help. Legal tools can then help with putting communicated goals and desires into place.

I highly recommend this workshop! It assists families and agricultural operations with developing financial plans and successful working arrangements to meet their unique needs. It will guide families in developing estate and transition plans, setting personal and professional goals and improving the communication process between family members. Sometimes the greatest barriers in life are our ability to communicate effectively with each other. As I’ve sat in the room during these workshops, I’ve watched barriers break down as different members listened long enough to learn what another person was saying (or not saying). I’ve watched a neutral environment where hard things were discussed and honesty was shared.

It really is intended for multiple generations to attend together. My colleagues have families work through scenarios/questions as multiple generations set around tables…things like what happens if different people pass unexpectedly, what happens in the event of a divorce or remarriage and what does asset transfer look like if that happens, who is all included and who isn’t included, fair and equal and are they the same, etc. My colleagues share numerous genuine stories, both humorous and hard, to drive home points. And, I’ve watched the different families represented in the room become friends, bouncing ideas off each other throughout the workshop and staying in touch months and years later. The workshop fee is $70 per person which includes meals and all the materials. It also includes two follow-up virtual workshops in the evenings on Jan. 12 and Feb. 2. Registration is due by early Dec. With this opportunity so close and with the main speaker and farm transition educator, Al Vyhnalek planning to retire this coming spring, I truly hope your family can take advantage of this! More info: https://cap.unl.edu/rtf22

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