When a farm business transitions from one generation to the next, there’s a laundry list of technical things to do — business structure changes, estate planning, loans, and insurance. But there’s more to farm succession than just the technical aspects, and Farm Credit Canada (FCC) has created a new role within the organization to help farmers move farm businesses between generations.
Annessa Good, is one of the first agriculture transition specialists with FCC, based at southern Alberta. Good explains that the role exists to help farmers address all the big questions surrounding farm transition that aren’t necessarily technical.
“When we think about transition planning, we think about tax and business structure, and estate pla bnning, wills and things, but there are so many other pieces to the puzzle — are you training the successor? (How do you deal with) off-farm siblings?” she says.
And, of course, when you’re dealing with family and business, there will be conflict, too.
Good says a transition advisor is there to help be proactive with the process, to keep communication open, and to help build a plan to then access those technical services, like accountants and lawyers.
She adds that those interested in succession or transition help don’t have to be an FCC client to use the services offered, and that there are online resources, available to all, too.