The Coshocton County Beacon February 4, 2021 - Page 10

10 • The Beacon February 4 , 2021

Virtual planning for the future of your farm set

Hello Coshocton County . As we each traverse through our lives , we all are presented with moments that make us pause and reflect on how precious the time is which we have been given on this earth .
I had one of these moments at the end of 2016 when I was flying out of Columbus to teach two days of farm-transition workshops for North
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David Marrison
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Carolina State University . As our flight began its ascent to head south , the plane started shaking , and I heard terrible back-firing noises from the right engine . When I looked out my window over the wing , I was surprised to see the engine on fire . The next 15 minutes were quite nerve racking and soul searching for everyone on board . My quick disaster calculations had us only having a 50 % chance of surviving at best .
Over those 15 minutes , I had time to think of all the things I had not completed and what the ramifications of my impending peril would be . Some of the things that flashed through my mind included : Why didn ’ t I finish the new version of my will ? Does anyone know the combination to the safe ? Does anyone know where to find all my passwords to all the accounts ? Does anyone know where I hid the bars of gold and silver ( that ’ s right , I don ’ t have any )?
Thankfully , we were able to land on a runway cleared just for us , complete with emergency vehicles . I credit the entire flight crew for handling this situation with a great deal of calm and professionalism . They were literally life-savers .
We all have defining moments that make us confront our own mortality . I know this past year has been filled with such
moments for many . Pancreatic cancer , multiple myeloma cancer and the December 2016 Delta flight have been such for me . I know death is a topic many of us are not comfortable talking about . However , I would challenge you to stop and think about the planning you can undertake today that will make life easier for your family once you are gone .
One of the hypothetical questions we pose in our OSU Extension farm-succession workshops is : “ What knowledge would you need to pass on if you knew you had only two months to live ?” This exact scenario happened to our family over a decade ago when my father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer .
I am grateful we had the seven weeks with my dad to make preparations . I challenge you to think how your farm and family would react to the loss of the principal operator . What knowledge and skills need to be transferred to the next generation so they can be successful without you ? If there is no farming heir , what will happen to the farm ? Will it be sold ? Or does the family transition from owner-operator to an owner-landlord role ?
To help jump-start your family ’ s conversation , I am pleased to announce OSU Extension will host a virtual three-part Planning for the Future of Your Farm workshop on Feb . 15 and 22 and March 1 from 6:30-8:30 p . m . via Zoom .
Because of the program being held virtually , it is a great opportunity for parents , children and grandchildren to join together , regardless of where they live . The registration fee is $ 40 per farm family . The registration deadline is Feb . 10 . More information and online registration can be accessed at www . go . osu . edu / farmsuccession .
To close today ’ s column , I would like to share a quote from Chuck Palahniuk : “ We all die . The goal isn ’ t to live forever ; the goal is to create something that will .”
Have a good and safe day .
David Marrison is associate professor and extension educator of agriculture and natural resources at Ohio State University Extension . He can be called at 740-622- 2265 or emailed at marrison . 2 @ osu . edu .
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