My Path to Today –
My Mom and Dad were hard working farmers like their parents. Dad crammed more work in a day than anyone I knew – I can’t count the number of people Dad knew who said he worked harder than anyone THEY knew. His motivation started when the lady who sold her farm to him said she didn’t think he could ever make it work. He was determined to prove her wrong, and he did. The farm was his life and as a kid it was all I knew. It led me into being very active in 4-H, following my farm-kid friends to Iowa State and graduating with an ag degree. I didn’t anticipate I’d be in wealth management after college – it wasn’t even on my radar.
My father’s perseverance shaped my beliefs. I remember working side by side with Dad for many years doing hard work – scooping thousands of bushels of corn into the grinder, cleaning hundreds of farrowing pens, stacking the hay loft full of bales each summer. The noise of Dad grinding feed after dark would help lull me to sleep many nights. It was hard not to give a best effort when you knew he would.
My plan after college was to work a few years in the corporate ag world, then move back to the farm. I learned a lot, very quickly, when I got out in the real world. Graduating from college during the 80’s farm crisis, I lost two jobs in three years due to the struggling ag economy. I quickly found out that those who work closely with farmers also feel real financial pain when farmers are hurting. Both farmers and their suppliers need to be financially nimble and adaptable to survive.
Other lessons I learned probably took longer to figure out. When I got married and moved back to the farm to help Dad, I soon found out matching his 14-hour work days was not good for my family life. Something had to give. The one commodity we all have a finite amount of is TIME. Working long, hard hours can be a virtue but in today’s world it’s critical for everyone in agriculture to find efficiencies that allow them to work smarter, not harder. Just as researching hybrids or new technologies allows farmers to grow and take advantage of opportunities, the financial strategies we’ve researched seek to help both farmers and agribusiness owners grow and preserve their wealth, as well as free up time for family.
It’s hard to get agriculture out of your blood if that’s been your life. Although I knew I needed to find a different path in life, I really wanted to stay near the farm and get my hands dirty. The financial services industry gave me the ability to stay close to the farm. It was a struggle starting a new business from scratch but, like Dad, I persevered and prospered.
Today there’s probably tens of thousands of people in agriculture just like my folks. Farmers, equipment dealers, feed suppliers, chemical or seed dealers – some of the most genuine people in America. Their hours are unpredictable, they often work in less than ideal situations, and their success rides on the whims of nature. Like Dad, they’re often too busy to consider how to keep the land or business in the family, or how to be fair down the road to their children, or what practices they could implement now to potentially make their business run smoother today and be more valuable in the future. That’s okay – that’s where we can help, and we have over 30 years of experience, including with our own ag family.
Dad stopped farming in his early 80’s when he went to the hospital for heart surgery. He said he’d be back farming in a week or so, but the surgery was too much. Not seeing him back on the farm was unexpected, but fortunately he had taken care of some very important details, and it made all the difference.
Attention to detail really matters when it comes to overcoming unforeseen challenges. Because our family took the time to plan, today we still have our cattle operation and protected all the land that represented my parent’s legacy.
While we’ve helped many people in our 30+ years (and plan on continuing to do so for many more), working with farmers and ag business owners is certainly a passion for me. They put their faith in God to provide every year, usually taking huge financial risks to help put food on our tables. And in agriculture, as in wealth management, proper planning really matters. The right equipment, the right seed, the best herd health practices, the best planning. It all makes a difference.
When it comes right down to it, our work and our family are our life’s legacy. Our passion here is simple…helping wealth creators grow and preserve their legacy!
– Mike Moffitt
Agribusiness Solutions from Cornerstone Financial Group
Our Agribusiness team is led by professionals that have current farming and agribusiness experience. We are committed to providing innovative and forward-thinking solutions for farmers and those in the agribusiness industry.
Some of the questions we can assist you in addressing are as follows:
- How do I keep my land/business in the family and continue our working operation?
- What methods are available to transfer ownership to a family member in the business and help equalize value to other family heirs?
- Can I be charitable now, and continue my charitable giving as a legacy when I’m gone?
- How can I better manage income tax liabilities when I retire?
- What can I do to avoid estate taxes where possible?
- What techniques can be used to better manage risks and their costs?
Our Agribusiness Services/Strategies Include:
- Succession planning
- Business value enhancement strategies
- Beginning farmer assistance
- Agribusiness enterprise risk management
- Property, Income and Estate Tax planning offered in conjunction with unaffiliated tax professionals
After working your entire life in agriculture, you owe it to yourself to take the prudent steps necessary to ensure things are run and operated in your best interest. Allow Cornerstone Financial Group to guide you through your transition in life with our varied strategies needed to ensure your farm, your legacy is passed on as you wish.
For more information on our Agribusiness Solutions, please contact us through the page in this website.