Let's keep family in the family farm

The agricultural industry is changing very quickly on many fronts. Whether it is risk management, human resources, or the latest in technology, farming is becoming more complex all of the time. With all the rapid change around us the one thing that seems to be consistent is the role that family plays in making up Canadian farms.

It’s estimated that 98 percent of Canadian farms are family owned, and that is something to sing from the roof tops. But we also know that working with family is not easy.

The family in family business is what can make our farms and ranches so complicated. We have all likely heard of or experienced personally a family farm succession disaster. I know full-well what happens when a family has a different version of the future of a farm. We know that family farm succession consultants are never short of work. But, in the family farm farm business, taking the family out of the farm to avoid struggles would be giving up so much.

The are not many occupations that allow you to work alongside your family day in and day out. Whether it’s your kids, parents, or grandparents, agriculture presents the unique chance to work alongside multiple generations at the same time. Lawyers, accountants, teachers, or police do not get the opportunity to walk side-by-side with their family in their daily lives. In agriculture there is an opportunity to learn from and mentor multiple generations as you put the crop in, vaccinate a new crop of calves or fill the milk tanker for the week.

All of the great pictures on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram show so many great examples of true family farming. It’s so great to see the tradition continuing.

We must also make sure that we do not take this special experience for granted. Whether it’s the youngest of farmers or the oldest, we must take farm safety into account. When it involves livestock or operating machinery, it’s important to make sure that another special day on the farm does not turn into a tragic memory.

Even though there are frustrating days working alongside family, the alternative would make agriculture a less attractive life for many of us. Family belongs in agriculture.

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One thought on “Let’s keep family in the family farm

  1. TEDx good reading for everyone, thank you!

    City & Country, look what has happened to Ontario, Toronto (city) has NO contact with farming public.
    The ( you know who) Government enacted the “GREEN ENERGY ACT” taking many country peoples
    rights away. Nothing could be done to stop the ball rolling. None of the Gov’mt organizations or even the
    farm organizations could stop there action plans. The wonderful (actually terrible) Industrial Wind Turbines
    have grave effects on our way of life. Flashing RED lights constantly blink from dusk to dawn. Permanent
    gravel access roads have split up large fields & farms. Most of the $$ during massive construction has gone
    to USA Corp’s & European suppliers. Economics have made no sense & the carbon savings is a farce. We at
    now left with very high Electricity cost, debt now being carried til our children will pay for massive interest
    amounts. Road construction & maintenance given to ONE company / MILLER ( British involvement). Our 407
    north by-pass of Toronto through farm lands, leased to a foreign country. Increases & future maintenance after
    lease period will fall on our shoulders. WE have the “Ontario Federation of Agriculture” which is our major voice
    or “Beef farmers of Ontario” to influence some decisions, not many of them effecting the farming community
    have any POWER over the “Green Energy Act” (McGuinty / Wynn) . Turning down the production of Niagara Falls
    Clean Hydro & Bruce Power to utilize undependable Wind & Solar power make no economic SENSE. Studies have
    been done in Germany, Denmark & Sweden regarding renewable energy & health effects only to be duplicated by
    Cdn expensive studies, Ontario tax $$.
    The construction of HUGE very expensive housing continuously overtakes good farm land in Urban development,
    Does anyone need a one Mil $ house to live in, 3 car garage, 2-3 new cars & two high paying jobs & in some cases
    no children. to carry on the family name, just for more …more of what they WANT or think they need.
    Health, Good Food, Family & Community (friendships) should overrule the GREED we now are
    influenced by daily. Bob Simpson / farmer, (never retired) not a big one, but happy & content with LESS.

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