Category: farm

The owning couple’s age is the main issue

He’s 90, she’s in her mid-70’s. He’s the one who keeps farming; she enjoys being on the farm but doesn’t farm per se. But at 90 years old, he can’t keep farming for too many more years. They have four kids and multiple grandkids, none of whom want to farm but all of them love having the farm in their family. I don’t know what the inheritance setup is, but I’m pretty sure that if the senior couple both passed away the family would sell.

We’ve talked to them in the past about what happens when they reach a point where they can’t or don’t want to farm anymore, and have told them of our interest in eventually buying. The most recent of those conversations was earlier this year. Let’s just say they haven’t done much constructive planning along those lines, at least not that they’ve disclosed to us. They have told us none of the family members want to continue farming if/when they retire. Because of the floodplain issues with that property (only the house/barn is above the NEW floodplain), it’s not a good candidate for development.

We’re one of three parties currently renting from them. Knowing a certain amount about the other two parties, neither of them are in a position to buy even if they wanted to. I think we have the best relationship with the family and we definitely have the longest-running relationship. But none of that matters much if we can’t get a loan at some point. I know that they’d be willing to work out a payment plan with us, but I would hardly expect their kids/grandkids to go into an arrangement like that if the older couple passed away before we had something already in writing. So yea, I feel a certain amount of pressure to “get ready” for being able to buy this property if/when it comes up. And I don’t think we have a lot of time to get our ducks in a row. Every new year, everyone in the family mutters about “this might be the last year” that they continue farming.