Keeping the Family Farm in the Family – Part 1

March 28, 2013

Downey Brand and Westmark Group Program

From 10:00am – 12:00pm

“What’s fair?”

The Issue of Equal and Equitable in an Evolving Multigenerational Family Business.
Keeping the Family Farm in the Family is a year-long series of programs presented jointly by Downey Brand and the Westmark Group to provide the framework for the best practices for the successful management of the multigenerational family farm and ensure that there is a next generation in the family business.  This is not a course on estate planning but a series designed  to address the difficult issues that often stand in the way of an effective plan for management and succession of the family business.  There is no single solution, no magic estate planning bullet, rather the focus is on building a culture of stewardship across generations that is flexible yet resilient in the face of the many unique challenges found on today’s family farm.

This series, Keeping the Family Farm in the Family, is designed to address critical issues facing multigenerational family owned businesses.  For example, production agriculture throughout the U.S. is rapidly aging with the average age of a California farmer being 58 years old.
Downey Brand, the largest law firm in the Central Valley which was founded in 1926, and the Westmark Group, a leading strategic consulting firm founded in 1988, have joined to use their collective experience with family owned businesses to develop a framework for best practices, to identify common sources of family business failures, and to share how they may be avoided.  Both firms have extensive experience with family businesses, particularly those in agriculture.


Downey Brand LLP is the largest law firm based in the Central Valley, and its attorneys have been advising family owned businesses for more than 85 years. The WestMark Group is a leading strategic agricultural consulting firm that advises many large family owned farming and ranching enterprises in California and a number of other states in the West.