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 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.
Most farming family members operate their farm business with the best of intentions along with the hope of keeping their farm in the family for future generations. But often a lack of family communications and the failure by family members to share expectations with each other can quickly put an abrupt end to a farming legacy. Too many times, family farms end up being divided during a dispute or even sold at public auction. Bitterness and blaming between family members now takes over; even to the point where some families no longer will speak to each other. With proper planning strategies, most often this conflict could have been resolved and a successful solution determined that keeps a farm in the family for future generations.
Farm family members must be motivated to adopt effective communication strategies when farming together to build better understanding and eliminate potential family conflicts. Simple misunderstandings as well as the stress of farming can prevent family members (or even a farm marriage) from effectively communicating and working together in a multi-generation family farming operation. Establishing effective channels of communication can create a dynamic change in the 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.
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 cause a family farming failure is a strategy for long term success. The bond of family members working together to achieve the same goals provides a farm family with the inner strength to overcome 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.
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!
An entertaining and very humorous program message designed specifically for a farm women’s audience dealing with farm family relationships during stressful times in agriculture while keeping a positive attitude and focus in the family. Program content is very similar to Be Sure to Count the Roosters but the message is directed toward farm women and their vital role in the family dynamics of a farming operation.
A farm business succession planning program designed for farm women. The focus of this presentation is directed at the fact that most farm women usually outlive their farming husband. If no previous farm family ownership succession planning has been accomplished, the surviving wife now has the burden of taking over the ownership as well as the management decision making of the family farming operation (often with limited preparation and experience). This can be an emotional and certainly stressful situation for some farm women. Too often farm wives are faced with the challenge of keeping the farm in her family along with handling any potential conflicts with other family members. Program content is similar to Keeping your Farm in the Family for Future Generations and Mapping Out a Succession Plan to Continue your Family Farming Legacy but the message is directed toward farm wives who might be required to take over both the roles of ownership and management of a farming operation while being faced with the task of developing a farm business succession planning strategy for the next generation in her family.
A farm succession planning program designed for young farm producer dealing with farm ownership family succession and business planning strategies when farming with parents while helping to avoid potential conflicts/jealousies with other siblings who are not involved with the family farming operation. Program content is similar to Keeping your Farm in the Family for Future Generations and Mapping Out a Succession Plan to Continue your Family Farming Legacy but the message is directed toward young farm producers who someday hope to gain a share of ownership of their family farming operation. Will their years of sweat equity be fully rewarded? How can young producers convince their parents of the importance and need to develop/implement a farm ownership succession plan? What planning options allow a young farmer to work with their parents to accomplish this task as well as identify a management strategy that creates an opportunity for their future farming success and allows them to accomplish their dreams/hopes as a young beginning farmer.
An entertaining and humorous program for young farm couples with a motivational message on the importance of not taking each other for granted in farm marriage. Program content is similar to Be Sure to Count the Roosters but the message is directed toward younger farm couples in their early years of marriage.
“I cannot express enough gratitude for the incredible Farm Transitioning Program you facilitated for us. Your message was clear, concise, effective, meaningful and powerful. There are very few programs that one can attest that truly help people, but this one is the exception. You touched at the very core of family values, family issues, and family relationships. Your presentation was inspiring and presented real information on a subject that is rarely discussed within families. This was without question the best educational program we have hosted in a very long time. Thank you for making it a rousing success!”
Ogle County Farm Bureau, Manager
It is never too early for farm family members to begin a succession planning process for their farm. Most often farm families make the mistake of waiting until it is too late and now nothing can be done to put a plan in place that preserves their farm for future generations.
The unexpected happens most often when you least expect it. If something happened to your farming operation and/or to a family member today, does everyone already know and understand what will happen tomorrow? Without a farm ownership succession plan, what might now happen next?
Farm succession planning requires open and honest communications between all farm family members involved. Can your farm family effectively communicate as well as share their personal feelings with each other?
Celebrate the success of implementing a farm ownership succession plan that keeps your farm in the family as well as appreciate the peace of mind that your farming legacy will now continue for the next family generation.