Just as you create a long-term business strategy, you should draw up an exit strategy if you decide not to stay in the pork production business.

First, decide how soon you need to move out of the business, says Sherrill Nott, Michigan State University Extension ag economist and Tom Purdy, Extension farm-management specialist.

Then, get a market-based appraisal of all assets. This gives you a realistic assessment of what someone would actually pay for the business. Work these appraised values into a complete balance sheet that includes the current tax-cost basis of all assets. Finish the balance sheet with a list of each loan contract and the security pledged for each loan.

Meet with a farm-income-tax consultant and get a precise estimate of what the federal and state income taxes would be on the proposed sale. Use this information to help make your final decision.

If the sale is going to finance your retirement, visit the following Web site for additional suggestions: http://www.ces.purdue.edu/retirement/intro.html