Operator Kip Tom of Tom Farms in Leesburg, Ind., has made it a priority to push the envelope after becoming a Top Producer of the Year in 2007.
Scott Bros. Dairy in Southern California is an operation of 1,100 milking Holsteins on a 900 acre ranch. The operation is one of the few remaining family-owned operations which supplies its own creamery down the road in Chino.
Use these tips to begin the succession discussion with your family and stakeholders sooner rather than later.
As farm operations become more complex and the economy continues to challenge healthy financial performance, it’s more important than ever to talk about the generational longevity of your operation. Use these tips to begin the succession discussion with your family and stakeholders sooner rather than later.
Keep the endgame in mind. The first step is to be clear about what you want your transition to look like. Do you want to continue working on the operation? What role do you see yourself playing?
Retirement is oftentimes viewed as the date when you turn in the keys to your tractor. For most farmers and business owners, succession is a lot easier to talk about when “retirement” is eliminated from the vocabulary and “transition” is inserted. That transition can come in the form of mentoring, help during busy times or any number of operational duties. This shift in thinking about the future often allows decision makers to make way for future leaders more easily.
It’s obvious the five members of the fifth generation at Holden Farms are comfortable with one another, and their father-owners. A friendly camaraderie permeates the meeting room where they gather to share ideas.
It’s rewarding to have the next generation be part of the business, and to know it’s in good hands in the future, Kent Holden says.
There are disagreements, as there are in any business—family or otherwise.
Continuity during change is a goal at Hatley/Cobb Farmland Management. That’s true for both their business and their clients.
The start of a New Year is the perfect time to reflect on the past year and firm up your plans for the new one. As you look to 2018, consider developing a farm succession plan if you don’t already have one in place.
If you find the idea totally overwhelming, know that you aren’t alone. In a Farm Journal survey on succession, 80% of farmers said they plan to transfer control of their operation to the next generation, yet fewer than 20% said they are confident they have a good plan in place.
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