Speakers, workshops announced for upcoming meeting

By DAN WHEAT

Capital Press

Succession planning for family farms is a big part of the 91st annual meeting of the Washington Farm Bureau set for the Yakima Convention Center, Nov. 15-18.

Estate planner Kevin Spafford leads a 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 15 workshop designed to ensure family farms continue as sources of pride, financial strength and opportunity for generations to come.

Succession planning was chosen because young members of the Farm Bureau, ages 18 to 35, expressed interest in the topic, Farm Bureau spokeswoman Mollie Hammar said. And it makes sense for older members, she said.

With more than 25 years in financial services and a degree in agriculture, Spafford knows preserving family farms comes down to helping owners balance objective needs, emotional demands and social expectations, Hammar said. Spafford's insights are geared toward the owner, the family and the farm.

About 300 members attend the meeting each year and are expected this year, Hammar said. Members vote on issues of bureau public policy.

Other speakers include Mathew Manweller, a political science professor at Central Washington University in Ellensburg. He offers a conservative perspective on politics, economics and foreign affairs. He has authored books and articles on constitutional law, direct democracy and judicial politics.

Also speaking is humorist Tim Gard and Kirby Wilbur, a radio personality and conservative activist who is Washington state director of Americans for Prosperity.

Convention workshops include: a 2011 legislative outlook, marketing your business, growing membership, the Department of Labor, what the extreme animal welfare agenda means for Washington, what's in store for water right holders, impacts of health care reform on your bottom line and what to do when government knocks.

Information: www.wsfb.com

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