Surviving Unexpected Changes to your
Farm and Family


Developing and implementing a business management contingency plan to overcome unexpected changes to the organizational structure and/or management leadership to a family farm is crucial for the continued success of a farming operation.  Having a business management plan is an important step in preventing potential misunderstandings between farm family members as well as helping to avoid possible family legal disputes especially if unexpected changes happen.  Can a farm business survive a potential shark attack (unexpected change) and still prosper?  An effective management strategy is to put yourself in the ‘shark tank’ and start addressing some difficult questions and possible situations.

Very few farming operations ever survive an unexpected change to the family organization and/or to the management structure of their farming business, let alone a crisis situation within the family itself.  Most farm families realize the importance of implementing a contingency business management plan for if and when something ever happens, but few families ever accomplish this management goal. These are issues (unexpected death, sudden illness, family dispute, loss of a key employee) that family members often avoid discussing or pretend will never happen. But what if it does happen?  What might actually happen next?  This presentation will stress the importance of developing as well as implementing a business contingency planning process so that a farming operation continues for future generations with success even if the unexpected happens.  No one wants to be in the shark tank and be faced with these difficult questions.  Striving to find answers as well as solutions is an effective strategy for a success when initiating a business contingency plan in case the unexpected happens to the farm or family or even both at once.