Happy Father’s Day…

**Sidenote, “10 things”….will post next week! Sorry for the confusion!**

Well it was Father’s day this past weekend…so I was told (by someone who shall remain nameless) that since I wrote such a nice Mother’s day tribute to my mom, I had better really do an incredible job on the Father’s Day Blog. So…here you go dad 🙂

Let me tell you a little bit about my dad…

My dad will laugh with you in any situation.
He’s usually too witty for his own good.
He is a sharp shooter enough to kill a squirrel out of a tree
But caring enough to take 2 hours to save a kitty

My dad is the best grandpa aka PAPA
I can see why I had such a great childhood when I see him with his granddaughter.
He is always up for an adventure
As long as it includes some water, a fishing rod, and maybe a bite or two.

My dad is patient with me at work
And even more understanding when life isn’t quite right
He’s a force to be reckoned with
And smiles so big that you just have to join him.

My dad is the source of some of my best stories
Stories that if you’ve spent any time with me at all, you’ve definitely heard.
He’s one of the best people I know
And at the same time he’s the first to admit when he’s made a mistake

He’s fit and sharp minded
Though we’re still not sure who he paid to get that in the paper
He’s my dad and one of the best parts of my life
I’m so lucky to have him as my boss, my friend, and my dad!

I love you dad!

5 Gifts from My Mom…

I always have been told that I take after the Kirsch (my dad’s) side of the family.  I look like my dad, talk like my dad, I have a rather imposing Kirsch sized nose, all good Kirsch traits.  However I also get many things from my wonderful mom!!  So for this Mom’s Day I want to thank her for all the wonderful gifts she has given to me.  Here are just a few…

1. Optimism.  If you’re ever having a tough time and just want to complain, don’t go see my mother.  Because somehow amidst all your moaning and groaning, she will turn it around to some kind of positive message.  She can turn any situation, no matter how bad, into something to shrug your shoulders at and move on.  Let me tell you, living life this way is contagious.

I should add “TRUST”
Mom is letting me practice IVs on her in EMT class!

2. Cooking.  My mom is the best cook in the world!  From very early on I have always known that I loved to cook, because it was something that I saw my mom love to do.  Some of my most vivid memories of a very happy childhood have been spent with my mom in the kitchen.  I’m not nearly as good at cooking as her, a few years behind probably, but she’s always there encouraging me along the way.

3. Silver Hair.  I know this sounds like a negative but her hair is beautiful and although I’m not ecstatic about going “grey” at age 28, I can look forward to pretty hair someday…a far away someday…still dying my hair.

4. Big Heart.  Mom is the most unselfish person I know.  She gives so much of herself to others to make sure that they are ok, that they are getting help if they need it, or even just a warm meal when going through tough times.  She’s an incredible giver and everyday makes me realize how much I want to be more like her everyday!  My feeling of wanting to be there for others, and help those in need stems from seeing her be unselfish for others my entire life.  The most amazing part is that she never leaves you feeling like you were left out or put on the back burner, she knows how to prioritize and always get things done.

Big hug after the Portland Marathon

5. You Can Do IT!!  It may seem trivial, but hearing these words from my mom my entire life has gotten me through just about everything.  I ran a marathon with these words ringing in my ears, because I could hear her yelling them from the sidewalk most of the way!  Encouragement is something mom is never short on, and something that I admire in her.  She’s always there to tell you that you can do whatever you set your mind to and because of that it’s made me more happy and successful than I could have ever dreamed!

I could go on and on with things that my mom has given to me over the years.  From dinners everyday out in the fields during harvest, to the many rides around the farm shuttling tractors across the prairie, taking care of me when I’m sick, my mom has done it all!  She reminds me of how good people can be, and when you have your priorities straight and you treat people with respect good things come to you in life.  And when they don’t, look on the bright side, brush yourself off, and move on!  Thanks mom for everything, you’re amazing and I love you!

Death Taxes…How will they Impact our Farm?

I was in an article last week in the Oregonian about passing down the farm and how my family is planning for that transition. After the article posted online I was very amazed by how many comments were made going on and on about how the death tax in Oregon isn’t going to inhibit our family’s ability to farm or pass the farm along to the next generation. To be fair there were comments going both ways, but I would still like to set a few things straight. First of all I’m writing this on my blog and not on the actual comments because I felt the need to defend my support of getting rid of the death tax over and over again, so I’m just doing it once here and those that want to read it, great, those that don’t, that’s fine too. Plus I was told a few months ago after I expressed my exhaustion of trying to convince people of certain things that I believe in, and finding that they are closed off to new suggestions or new ideas, that maybe my plan shouldn’t be to change the minds of the 5% that are adamant of certain things in life, I should focus on trying to inform the other 95% that don’t quite have their minds made up or have a more neutral attitude.

So here goes. I would first like to say that in our family, my generation hasn’t had to deal with estate taxes, since my mom and dad haven’t passed away yet. So it’s not fair to say that it won’t be a hindrance to us when that does happen someday (hopefully a faraway someday). We just recently met with their attorney and we were shown that even with lots of careful estate planning, and lots of money to attorneys and accountants we will still have to pay significant taxes when that day does come. Taxes that hopefully will be covered by life insurance, which in itself is not cheap and has to be paid for until their death!

Ag exemptions or Natural Resource Exemptions do exists, but they only increase the exemption to $7.5 million, they don’t get rid of the tax. So in reality you’re still paying the taxes and it is still a very real threat to farming families. And you might think that farms could never reach that high of estate value, well you’re very wrong. When land values can sit anywhere from $7,000 to $15,000 per acre in our area, $7.5 million can be reached in a hurry. And even if you don’t end up reaching that threshold, how much money have you already spent in fees to attorney and accountants just to get that exemption and get things all set up so that you don’t have that tax liability? I’ll tell you right now, it’s not cheap!

Plus the estate tax is a double tax! Me, my parents, everyone has been paying taxes their whole life on their business. So why in the event that you die does the state feel like they are entitled to a portion of what you have worked so hard for?! We are only a fraction of states that still have the death tax at a state level; I don’t think it’s a fair tax at all! It also affects small businesses in Oregon and I truly feel that it hurts Oregon’s business economy. There was a study done on the economic impacts that would be made if Oregon got rid of the estate tax, 44,500 jobs it was they found to be the impact. These were jobs that would be created in our state, easily making up the small loss in revenue that the state would take!

There is a proposed initiative to get rid of the Death Tax in Oregon over a 4 year period. Signature cards are being signed right now to try to get this on the ballot this November. You can go to End Oregon Death Tax to get more information and sign a signature card to help us get this on the ballot this coming November and hopefully rid Oregon of this double, non-business friendly tax!