Set the next farming generation up for success when you plan out transitioning the family farm or ranch to your kids and grandchildren.

The statistics on farming gathered in the last agriculture census show that 97 percent of farms in the U.S. are family-owned and that the average age of the principal operator in 58.3. That means that many farms and ranches are on the brink of transitioning the agbusiness to the next farming generation. Unfortunately, such transitions can be filled with mistakes and problems that have the ability to derail the operation and hamper the next generation’s success. A recent article in Citrus Industry magazine offered some expert tips on the dos and don’ts of transitioning the farm or ranch to the next farming generation. Read the highlights below.

Tips for Transferring to the Next Farming Generation

  1. Make a Transition Plan Now. Michael Loney, regional director for John Hancock Life Loney Insuranceshared, ““It not only might be financially more difficult, but it becomes emotionally more difficult and causes a great deal of disharmony in the family, because nobody knew what was exactly going to happen,” Loney said. “And they have to wing it at the time of death or disability or retirement. That’s not a good time to do planning.”
  1. Have All Stakeholders Involved. “It’s better to do the planning and have all stakeholders — the non-farming members as well as farming members of the family — involved in understanding what’s supposed to take place and how it’s going to happen,” Loney shared in the article.
  1. Get the Conversation Started. Elaine Froese, a certified farm-family business coach in Manitoba, Canada, shared that members of the farm family should discuss their concerns openly, “to understand what each generation wants.”
  1. Understand the Concerns of the Current Generation. She maintained that the current farming generation,“typically are looking for security in their income stream. They want to know where they’re going to live, and they also want to know what their roles and responsibilities are going to be.”
  1. Understand the Concerns of the Next Generation. The next farming generation is concerned with, “how much debt liability they’re going to service,” Froese maintained. “They’re curious about when the ownership is going to shift. And they also want to know when the founders are going to let go of power and control so that they can also have a degree of responsibility for management.”

Griffin Fertilizer is committed to helping both growers and ranchers make sound agronomic and economic decisions in order to maximize the health of their grove and pasture. As a full-service custom dry & liquid fertilizer blender and crop protection product distributor, we will continue our mission to further advance Florida agriculture. For questions or concerns about your farm or pasture, contact us and one of our team will be in touch.