Are You a Business First Family Farm? – Jolene Brown

It’s no secret or will it shock you if I told you that I think farmers are terrible at succession planning.  If most of you reflected on your own personal situations I would assume you would say that you agree.  The question that arises is, if we know this to be true, why do we continue as a group to commit the same fatal mistakes over and over again?

Are farmers stubborn? Do we not want farms to transfer to the next generation? Is their a future for young people in this business without losing the family connection?  Why is an industry so rich in tradition and values so terrible at making sure the next generation gets an opportunity to build the future of agriculture?

I have my  own opinions on this topic based on my own experiences but I thought it would be great to gain some insight from a professional to help us understand some of the problems.   I talked to Jolene Brown while she was in Lethbridge, Alberta about what she think about this serious problem in agriculture across the continent. Jolene farms in Iowa and travels the world speaking to farmers about the need to be a business first family and not a family first business.  Jolene is considered one of the best on this topic and you need to listen to here no matter your stage in this process of family farm succession.

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Shaun Haney

Shaun grew up on a family seed farm in Southern Alberta. Haney Farms produces, conditions and retails wheat, barley, canola and corn seed. Shaun Haney is the founder of @shaunhaney


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Family farms continue to be torn apart because this issue is not handled properly. Thanks for the interview, it was very insightful.

Lyndsey Smith

“When you manage well, then you get to lead.” This should be required watching for every farmer out there no matter what stage of the game they’re at.
Great job, Shaun and Jolene.


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