Making the transition 

An older farmer surveys part of his cowherd. (Journal photo by Jennifer Theurer.)

This is part of High Plains Journal’s year end activities where HPJ staff members were asked to write a piece about a memorable story they wrote in 2023.

There’s a point every person faces during their lifetime. That point usually involves the question “What do I do now?” Through the farm transition articles I’ve written for High Plains Journal over the last couple of years, I’ve tried to give farmers and ranchers at least a place to start, a question to ask, or a suggestion of who might be able to help them. 

My favorite article that I’ve worked on this year was a part of that effort. This was the first time I worked with Jim Angell of Kennedy Berkley based in Salina, Kansas, and I feel like the article was a terrific building block on the previous articles.  

I’ve heard the word probate for years but never really knew what it meant until I interviewed Angell. He has years of experience working with farmers and ranchers as do his associates at Kennedy Berkley. That is important because agriculture works in a very different way compared to most industries. I’m happy to say our readers will be learning more from him in the new year too. 

A good portion of my family and friends are involved in production agriculture and I want to help them and our readers make that transition to what’s next smoother and less expensive. The livestock, equipment and land that has been assembled through 40 or 50 years of hard work and dedication should be protected not just for the next generation but for the people who did the work to begin with. 

You can read the Planning for the unexpected article at