Strategies for Family Farming Success in the Shark Tank of WHAT IF
What happens when “this will never happen” suddenly does happen? Few farming operations survive an unexpected change to the ownership and/or the management structure of their farm business, let alone a crisis situation within the family itself. Some families avoid discussing the real life “what if” issues such as unexpected death, sudden illness or a farming accident, family legal disputes, as well as financial struggles that might jeopardize the future of their farming operation. Family members often pretend this could never happen to our farm. But what if it does happen? What might now happen next? Being prepared with a contingency plan enables a farming business to survive a potential shark attack (unexpected change) while remaining profitable and continue to prosper for future generations.
Mapping a Plan to Keep your Farm in the Family for Future Generations
Mapping out a succession plan to transfer farm ownership between generations can be an overwhelming task. There are no short cuts or quick fix solutions to this process. Neither are there easy to find answers. Developing and implementing a farm business management contingency plan is crucial for the continued success of a farming operation for future generations. Having a business management plan is an important step in preventing potential misunderstandings between farm family members which helps in avoiding possible family legal disputes. Farm families must embrace a vision which insures the future of their farm and then follow through with a management plan to accomplish this purpose for future generations. The ultimate goal must be directed at being prepared with a plan.
Family Fence Posts Talking to
Farm family members must be motivated to adopt effective communication strategies when farming together that builds better understanding and eliminates potential family conflicts. Simple misunderstandings as well as the stress of farming can prevent family members (even in a farm marriage) from effectively communicating and working together in a family operation. Establishing effective channels of communication can create a dynamic change in personal relationships between farm family members as well as be an extremely powerful tool in achieving stronger family bonds especially during stressful times in agriculture.
Multi-Generation Family Farming: Building Stronger Relationships
Achieving stronger and more positive working relationships between farm family members is a management strategy that promotes a more successful multi-generation family farming operation. Identifying opportunities which avoid the common mistakes that often result in a farm family business failure is the secret for long term success. The family bond of working together to achieve the same goals provides a farm family with the inner strength to conquer the stress and daily pressures of the farming operation itself. Strong family relationships are characterized by a dedicated commitment to the success of their farming operation as well as fostering support and appreciation for each other.
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Many times in a family farming operation or a family business, the efforts and contributions of individual family members are quite easily taken for granted and are never fully recognized. Too often the hectic pace, the burdensome workload, and the numerous stresses of the farming operation itself prevent family members from expressing their actual feelings and personal needs for each other. It is important to remember that farms can always be replaced but farm families can never be replaced. Strong and loving relationships between farm family members are priceless!