Farmers Encouraged to Plan for Farm Transition as Early as Possible

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Farmscape for May 22, 2018

Full Interview 8:10 Listen

A southwestern Manitoba based Farm Family Coach is encouraging farm families to consider the transition of the family farm to the next generation as early as possible. An estimated 120 thousand farms in Canada will need to transfer over the next 10 years. Elaine Froese, with ElaineFroese.com, says the interesting thing about the culture of agriculture is that the home is typically also the work place so there’s both a family dynamic and a business dynamic that need to be considered when planning for the future.

Clip-Elaine Froese-ElaineFroese.com:
Communication and conflict resolution and dealing with the emotional factors affecting planning are the things that need to be dealt with first. There’s a lot of legacy issue around emotional attachment to the land. If you have a mom and pop shop that’s on a main street in a small town you may not be as emotionally connected to that as you are to Grandfather’s homestead. The best strategy is to decide that you no longer want to procrastinate. Quite often I have said that the tsunami of agriculture is procrastination and conflict avoidance. Basically love can not read minds.
I have no idea of what you want, what you expect and what your intentions are and so the first line of attack is for the founders to understand what their income streams are. They have to be able to speak with each other and agree on what their vision is for their next chapter and, after that, are they going to remain living in the same place.
Again that’s also special to agriculture. We typically live at our work place. Then thirdly, how are they going to be fair to their non-business heirs? The communication is huge because first people have to understand what they themselves want and then secondly they need to understand what the next generation is thinking, feeling, needing and wanting as well.

Froese says the first step is decide to move forward and then start meeting and talking. For more information visit elainefroese.com.

For Farmscape.Ca, I’m Bruce Cochrane.

*Farmscape is a presentation of Sask Pork and Manitoba Pork

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