For many farm families, building a farm business that the next generation can take over is a top priority. There’s great pride and value placed in keeping a farm “in the family.” While it’s important to have a viable business worth passing on, a successful farm transition also requires individuals in the younger generation who are interested in and capable of managing the business.

Lacombe, AB-based mediator Reg Shandro suggests the foundation for a successful inter-generational transition is laid when future farmers are young.

“The statistics show that 80 percent of our makeup is designed before we get on the bus in grade one,” he explains.

Shandro discusses the importance of building trust and respect with your kids, how success is measured (“Working harder is not a competitive advantage”), and the ideal stage of life for initiating a farm transition:

Related: 5 Signs Your Parents Don’t Trust You to Manage the Farm at the Age of Forty

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