The discussion on family business transition at this year’s Dairy Summit generated overwhelming interest and desire for a more in depth look at the challenges that almost every farm family faces; how to ensure a comfortable retirement for the ‘passer’ and a prosperous enterprise that will support the next generations in the business.

PDMP, with the help of the Center for Dairy Excellence and a few people who have “been there, done that” will open the dialog more on the topic at its Fall Issue Forum on November 4 in Juniata County.

Along with business professionals; Mike Hosterman and Gary Heim, Esq., who have helped countless farm families through the process, Duane Hertzler and Carissa Itle Westrick will share their perspectives and engage attendees in a discussion on managing the complexities of a farm business transition.  Duane, the ‘Passer’ of Rock Hollow Dairy will share his experience in transitioning ownership and management to his son, while Carissa will give her vantage point as part of the ‘Receiver’ generation at Vale Woods Farms.

“Since there are no two businesses that are identical and certainly none with the exact same family dynamics, there is not really a cookie cutter transition plan or approach,” said Walt Moore, President of PDMP and dairy owner in Chester County.  “But the experiences of others can go a long way in identifying potential landmines to avoid, opportunities to grab, and strategies for success”.

With the panel discussion on November 4th, PDMP hopes to generate a dialog from which all attendees, regardless of their position in their transition, can pick up tips and perhaps find ways to approach issues that concern them.  The Forum will delve into the many complexities to a family business transition; 1) how to have those difficult conversations, 2) creating an environment of entrepreneurial enterprise for the next generation, 3) managing the business transition, and more from both the ‘passer’ and ‘receiver’ perspective.