Lessons learned helping 600 farm families navigate succession

For 20 years, Len Davies has been helping Canadian farm families develop and implement farm succession plans.

Over two decades, Davies and his Ontario-based Davies Legacy Planning Group have helped 600 farm families navigate the succession process. Farm Management Canada acknowledged Davies’ efforts by awarding him the 2019 Wilson Loree Award at its recent Agricultural Excellence Conference at Fredricton, New Brunswick.

The award is presented annually to individuals or groups who have made an extraordinary contribution to advancing agricultural business management business practices in Canada. RealAgriculture’s Bernard Tobin caught up with Davies at the conference and asked him to share some of the farm succession wisdom he’s accumulated over the years.

Based on his experience, Davies says most failed farm successions are the result of poor communication between family members, and an inability to establish effective family and business governance.

But there is a clear roadmap to successful transitions, including essential steps and required goal posts, he says. These include: communication, business planning, risk management, financial and estate planning, and an effective implementation process to ensure all family members and the professional support team understand the terms of the plan and the steps required to make it happen.

(Watch as Len Davies shares what he’s learned over 20 years working on succession plans for 600 farm families.)

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