Carrying on the family farm has been something that goes through every farm parent’s minds at some point in time.
Your children have worked with you through the years, the good and the bad. For some, you hope that they never struggle or feel the hardship that you have endured and for others they reap the benefits of a minimal bumpy road.
When it comes to succession planning and how the next generation will fit into that puzzle it can be very stressful and emotional for all involved.
Parents can often feel they have been there, done that, so they know what works and does not work. When in reality, something that worked or did not work at one point in time may not have the same result in the next round.
It has been very refreshing to see the entrepreneurs that have popped up in the agricultural community over the past couple of years. In the last couple of issues we have been focussing on the next generation from multiple farm operations, and how they are continuing with the passion for agriculture, but not necessarily in the traditional sense.
My husband’s family farm, that is owned by his brother, and his family named the farm ‘Carry On’.
How appropriate. They may not still be milking cows as the next generation has taken on different directions as many of them do, but the reality is that the family farm is still a vibrant ongoing operation just with a different emphasis.
With the opportunities available to young entrepreneurs now there is no limit to what they can accomplish.
As parents we need to be open to the new ideas the next generation have. They are more in tune with social media and marketing than some of us will ever be.
As the next generation steps in and offers new ideas, they too can take a step back and look at what has been accomplished from the previous generations before them.
There can be many options for having multiple children still part of the farming legacy, but with their own contribution and passion.
We all can learn from each other and keeping an open mind and not forgetting that each participant in the succession plan has a valid contribution. Don’t be afraid to revisit the plan. If something is not working or there needs to be adjustments made, it is better to come back to the table and discuss the concerns or positive advancements to secure a successful transfer.
It all starts with a goal, a family, and a passion for agriculture.