The Great Succession — Half of Farms Have No Plan; Does Yours?


A recent survey suggested that 52% of family businesses don’t have a succession plans. Farms are family businesses — does that number sound about right to you? If so, there are thousands upon thousands of farms and farmers that are still dragging their feet on planning the long-term viability of their farm businesses. What will spur farmers to take action?

To demystify the process and what’s at stake, Real Agriculture’s Kelvin Heppner caught up with Cedric MacLeod at the recent Agricultural Excellence Conference held at Winnipeg, Man. MacLeod isn’t just a consultant with MacLeod Agronomics, he’s also a farmer and working through a succession plan of his own.

In the interview below, MacLeod touches on the value of clarity in the farm operation right now — who does what, who is in charge of what — but also the importance of knowing what’s going to happen down the road. Instead of thinking about “Who gets the farm when I die,” think of it as, “How would I like to see my farm operate now and in the long term.”

MacLeod also discusses the importance of defining roles within the farm, so that people’s talents are effectively used and they have a chance to excel. There should also be a straightforward way to get feed back and provide constructive criticism — just like in any other business. Lastly, he suggests farmers take long-term business planning in bite-size pieces to avoid being overwhelmed by the entire process.

Click anywhere on the player below to hear this interview.

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