A U.S. farm organization is one of multiple groups to support a bipartisan piece of legislation.

The Illinois Farm Bureau is in favor of the Small Business Succession Planning Act.

U.S. Reps. Tom Rice (R-SC), Cheri Bustos (D-IL), Andrew Garbarino (R-NY) and Jason Crow (D-CO) introduced the bill in the House of Representatives on Feb. 11.

If passed, the bill would require the Small Business Administration (SBA) to:

  • Create an online business succession planning toolkit and train SBA staff to assist with succession plan creation.
  • Hold succession planning workshops across the country.
  • Create a plan to increase the number of succession plans among small businesses, including minority-owned businesses.
  • Provide a $250 tax break to create a succession plan and another $250 tax break once the plan is executed.

Succession planning is part of operating a family farm, which is why the Illinois Farm Bureau supports this type of legislation.

“Our members would benefit from the bill’s tax incentives that would allow them to cover the costs of writing farm succession plans which is something we all have to do,” Richard Guebert, president of the organization, said in a statement.

Fewer than 50 percent of U.S. farms have succession plans in place.

Data from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Tenure, Ownership and Transition of Agricultural Land surveys in 2013 and 2014 found that only 29 percent of U.S. farms had a succession plan.

The U.S. had about 2.08 million farms in 2014, meaning about 81,200 had succession plans in place.

Wesley Tucker, an ag economist and succession planning coordinator with the University of Missouri Extension, provided five tips on how to pass a farm to the next generation.

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