“Taylor’ing” the Transition

“Taylor’ing” the Transition

“Taylor’ing” the Transition



Written by Nicole Speizio-De Paz

Chances are, if you are involved in the row crop production industry in Northern Illinois, I’d bet that the name “Paul Taylor” rings a bell. Even if you don’t know him personally, you likely know of him. If you don’t, a quick Google Search will tell you a lot about him, you will find interview articles about his farming techniques, his awards, and his prestigious honors within the farming community. You will also find that he was named a 2021 Master Farmer by Prairie Farmer magazine, which is a great accomplishment and certainly a big ribbon on his farming career.

Paul and his wife, Barb, live in DeKalb County, Illinois.  Both coming from farming families, Paul and Barb have always been submersed in the farming culture and active in the hard physical and mental work that operating a farm entail.  The Taylors are a 3rd generation farming family and are truly experts in this industry.  That is why they knew when it came to their farming legacy, they could not place it in the hands of just anyone. They wanted and needed the right people to get the job done.

As you may know, there may come a time in the life of a farmer when one must move on to the next chapter and look towards starting the transition of passing the farm down to the next.  Like many folks in the farming community, the next generation of the Taylor’s blended family live and have careers off the farm.  Barb and Paul were experiencing the part of the generational shift that is becoming more and more common.  They needed guidance from trusted professionals, they wanted people to bounce their goals, honest thoughts and concerns off. They wanted a team that was able to see the entire picture- take some of the emotion out of the next steps and do so compassionately and courteously. They knew who they wanted to go on this journey with, – Rooster Ag’!

Who is Rooster Ag’? They are a family-owned and operated multifaceted Agricultural Service agency in Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Indiana. They share many of the same values as the local farming community and they became the one stop shop for helping the Taylor’s sort through their farming legacy.

Rooster Ag’ took the time to speak with the Taylors, not only listen to them but “hear,” what they were saying about how they wanted their transition to look. These conversations started to happen long before they were ready to make this transition, so when the time came, they knew who to turn to.

Like many family farms, there were a lot of moving parts of this operation that had taken generations to build. Some of which would make the average Ag’ professional overwhelmed or confused. However, Rooster Ag’ has decades of combined agriculture experience and they were able to break this transition down into bite sized pieces.

The many moving parts were able to come together smoothly due to the time that Rooster Ag’ spent with the Taylors prior to beginning this transition and throughout the entire transitional journey.

Let’s take a moment and talk a bit about what this process looked like.

Step 1- The Taylors needed to know what the value was for the portion of the family farm they had decided to sell. Which included a farmhouse, several outbuildings, a barn, and a fully functioning grain facility.


When something means so much to someone, it often feels invaluable. Well, the truth is, everything has a value, which can differ depending on who is valuating it. That is where the Rooster Ag’ Gold Standard Farmland Appraisals came in! Their top-quality appraisals and market analysis’ take the guessing game out of finding the valuation of various farm assets, they help value the “in-valuable” and that is exactly what they had done for the Taylors.

This farm had been in the family since the early 1900’s. Paul’s parents met in this house, and he grew up there.  The Taylor family farmed the land surrounding it for years, utilizing the buildings and the grain facility as an intricate part of their farming operation. This family farm is something very special to Paul and Barb, and Rooster Ag’ was honored to have been given the opportunity to value the portions that they had decided to sell.

Step 2- Once the valuation of these parts of the family farm was completed, Rooster Ag’ Realty swooped up where the appraisal team left off.


Rooster Ag’ Realty was able to sell the facility, including all its assets- the farmhouse, outbuildings, barn, and the grain facility, at the determined fair market value.

As a condition of the purchase the new owner was granted the ability to rent the highly productive/ high yield farmland surrounding their new property through a long-term lease that Rooster Ag’ Farm Management set up as part of the sale. Talk about a win-win!

Once the sale was complete, Rooster Ag’ Realty consulted the Taylors on locating and purchasing an adequate 1031 trade farmland property with the funds they received from the sale of the farm.

Step 3- The next step ensured that the surrounding farmland and the Taylor’s land in the DeKalb region was being handled professionally.


That is where the Rooster Ag’ Farm Management Services stepped in and was able to take over the life-altering transition, such as the management of these farms.

Rooster Ag’ recognized that each farm is unique, and they structure each lease on a, “farm to farm,” basis. This lease structure entails information obtained through Rooster Ag’s years of experience in the industry and knowledge of farms production history through insight gained as a result of, the Rooster Ag’ Federal Crop Insurance division.

Step 4- The Taylor family’s farmland has such an established history of high crop yields.


Yes, DeKalb County’s quality soil plays a role in this, but the Taylors had been managing the manure application on these fields for years from the hog facilities located adjacent to the Taylor Farms. Which greatly increased the productivity of the farm overtime.  Rooster Ag’ knew that this fertility value needed to be accounted for and they knew just how to get the job done.

As part of the long-term lease, a value was assessed to the existing soil fertility and future manure applications.  Rooster Ag’s years of experience in the fertilizer industry was a huge component in ensuring that their abundantly fertile ground was not only accounted for, but that it was done so in a fair manner for both parties, inclusive in the farm lease.

The Taylor’s farmland continues to be in great hands, the Rooster Ag’ Farm Management Services team works to ensure that the soil fertility bank and manure is managed on these farms.  These applications increase the tenant farmer’s harvest yields and has a direct impact on the soil health and balance of the Taylor’s farmland.

In addition, the Rooster Ag’ Farm Management Services team was able to create a flexible lease for the Taylor Farm, which allowed for a previous agreement of a specialty crop to be grown on alternating parts of the property.

Step 5- Seeing it all come together!


Rooster Ag’ truly was the one-stop shop in ensuring that the various steps of this transition were handled professionally and successfully. Everyone’s legacy looks different and that is why having an entire team of Ag’ professionals alongside you for a transition such as this, is crucial.

Remember, “Investing in Dirt” can be just as fun as farming it! There can be a smooth transition into this chapter of one’s life, the trick is ensuring that it is tailored in a way that fits you!  Supporting the next generation of farmers and continuing to be an active part of the Ag’ community, are crucial parts in the next chapter of the Taylor’s lives

How do you envision the next chapter of your life? How can Rooster Ag’ help you get there?

The Taylors welcome the opportunity for conversation, they can be reached via-email atPTaylor1@rochelle.net

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