Farming has been in a rough stretch. Farmers and their families bear the brunt of the associated challenges of making it through these types of periods, and that’s the catalyst for an upcoming seminar for farmers. A Cass County ag lawyer and farmer, John Schwarz has created the Strengthening and Sustaining Farms and Farmers seminar.
“Not only are a lot of farms struggling with the general farm economy, but with the financial stress comes mental stress on farmers,” he said. “I see more and more articles and information on farmers and mental health treatment, and unfortunately farmer suicides are up, I think we all know that.”
Schwarz’s idea was an event to help farmers strengthen not only their operation but themselves. As an attorney, Schwarz will begin the seminar with a nuts and bolts discussion on protecting the farm.
“USDA just came out last year with their census report and 85 percent of the farmers in the country are still sole proprietors,” he told HAT. “They’re not set up as a corporation. They’re not set up as an LLC or a limited partnership. They’re not anything, and they’re one accident away, one environmental issue away from financial ruin. They’re leaving tax money on the table each year.”
He added an improperly structured operation makes it a lot harder to create a succession plan. Jeff Milligan, a farm CPA from Logansport will add expertise in that discussion.
Other topics include crop insurance, working through family dynamics on the farm, and details on government programs that can be resources for farmers. Also, nationally recognized farmer mental health expert Val Farmer, who worked with farmers in the difficult 1980’s, will speak on how to do a better job of handling the stress.
Speakers include Todd Landrum, Ag Resource Management, Andy Junkin, Agricultural Strategy, and Susan McClish with Agri-File Solutions.
The free seminar is the night of February 5th, 2020 at the Logansport Ivy Tech campus beginning at 5 PM. Call the Schwarz law office to RSVP at 574-643-9999.
Support for the seminar is being provided by Indiana Farm Bureau.