Planning for the Future – Starting Out

Any family ranching and farming operation goes through different transitioning stages and for many operations it is some of the hardest discussions and changes to go through.  Currently we are exploring options for our own ranching and farming business.   I’m hoping that through this post and future post regarding our experiences as we go through this process over the next year can help shed some light onto this topic, or maybe you all can help to enlightening us.

Our operation as many of you know consists of two operations ran by two families in two states with two very separate tax situations.  It is ran as one single business with all of us making the major decisions together, there is a lot of co-mingling of funds, expenses, business stuff that occurs which makes it tricky to separate out into a partnership, LLC, S-Corp or other business entity.


Before moving to Montana, The Rancher’s parents and us sat down with a lawyer in South Dakota to get started on setting up a business entity and to start the process of estate planning as we made these major changes.  After a lengthy meeting and a not-so-easy-on-the-checkbook bill, we weren’t any farther ahead than before the meeting.  How disappointing.

As a young women who has her Master’s degree in Business who has been in the family for nearly 8 years now I couldn’t help but ask the question, HOW did we not get this done?  Why are we such a mess to set up as a business entity?  What can we do to fix this?IMG_9034

I started researching more indepth.  Finding out that our major obstacles will be the tax laws, how the debt was situated between the two families (us and the in-laws), as well as the land ownership.  To solve these, I still haven’t found the answer.

But after moving to Montana, I resolved that we would at least get a team of professionals in our corner to help us sort out the mess, I had a goal of doing that before 2015.  However, because of a few certain major obstacles taking up the majority of time in 2014, we were unable to get anything accomplished.  There is always room for more goals – so 2015 – here we come!


Stay tuned as I will continue to write about our experience as we move forward with our business and estate planning on the Kougl Ranch.  We ranch for a living; We ranch to provide food for the world, We ranch for our families and especially for our future – – these kids.



……if our parents can figure it out! – –

4 thoughts on “Planning for the Future – Starting Out”

  1. Farm Bureau also has had articles recently in their news publication by a company called by My dad/family is sort of in the same situation with farms in the midwest. We plan to do some research into how rightrisk might help us. Just throwing that out there as another opportunity. This business and estate planning is big! And from experience we know its even bigger when its either not done or not done right. Hope that helps!

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