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Be clear and honest about your farm succession needs and build from there.
Your family’s due for a talk about generational transition, but somehow, the timing isn’t right.
Really, it would make more sense after you get the farm to where you want it. Build that new barn, shuffle the crop rotation, expand the herd and then talk transition. Sound fair?
Elaine Froese isn’t buying it. The Manitoba-based farm family transition advisor knows a stalling tactic when she sees one.
“Procrastination is killing agriculture,” says Froese. “Transition isn’t an event, it’s a journey and it happens in stages. That takes time.”
Her advice? Make a start, with the farm business you have today.
Get everyone ready. “Identify the older generation’s personal and financial needs and expectations and those of the incoming generation,” says Froese. “See where they overlap and where they diverge.” Above all, be prepared for honest communication and financial transparency.
Let the younger generation step up. The older generation can be reluctant to give up control. The younger generation often wants more responsibility. Think creatively. “If you have a generation who wants to prove themselves, a side business can prove their management skills in synergy with the existing farm,” says Froese. “Think of doing custom work like haying, silage or spraying.”
Build your team of advisors. Your accountant, lawyer and banker can help and an experienced succession advisor could be a good addition to the team. “Just as you might pay $700 for a bag of good seed,” says Froese, “spending a little money to achieve a successful transition can be a sound investment.”
Listen Now
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Podcast Callout: Episode 46: Navigating Multi- Generational Farm Management
Guide Callout: Farm Succession Planning Guide
What’s your next move? We’re ready to help.
Tell us where you want to take your operation and we’ll help you get there.
Learn more about succession planning.
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